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A child with a measles-like rash (file photo) Shutterstock/Aleksandr Finch
MMR Vaccine

Measles: 56 cases confirmed in Ireland so far this year

A further 14 possible measles cases are currently under investigation.

FIFTY-SIX CASES of measles have been confirmed in Ireland to date this year, according to the latest figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

A further 14 possible measles cases are under investigation, as of this morning.

Suspected cases of measles are tested in a laboratory, before being either officially confirmed as measles or denotified. 

Of the 56 confirmed cases to date, 28 are males, 26 are females, and the gender was not recorded in two cases.

The majority of confirmed cases this year have been in people aged 34 or younger. Two cases have been confirmed in children younger than 12 months. 

Seven outbreaks were reported in the first five months of the year, all of which occurred in private houses and involved between two and five cases in each outbreak.

No new outbreaks have been recorded in June to date.

Doctors last week advised parents that young infants eligible for the MMR vaccine should receive an additional dose before travelling abroad as measles cases spike across Europe.

The Irish College of GPs recommended that infants between six and 11 months should receive an additional MMR vaccine at least two weeks before travelling overseas.

Symptoms

Measles is a highly infectious disease that can cause serious complications.

Particularly vulnerable groups are children under one year of age, pregnant women, and people who are immunosuppressed.

A measles infection tends to start with cold-like symptoms that develop about 10 days after a person is infected, followed a few days later by a rash. Symptoms include:

  • Cold-like symptoms (eg runny nose, sneezing, coughing)
  • Sore, red eyes
  • A temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above
  • A rash, which usually appears on the head and neck before spreading to the rest of the body.

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