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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 18 January 2022

Measles warning after second case confirmed this year

The person in question had been in Dublin and Kerry leading up to and including the May bank holiday weekend.

Image: Shutterstock/NatUlrich

THE HSE HAS confirmed and is investigating the second measles case in Ireland this year.

It said that so far “all known relevant contacts” of the person concerned have been notified and advised of the risk by HSE consultants in public health.

The HSE are continuing to identify those who may have been exposed to prevent further transmission and ensure people are aware of the risk.

However, the HSE said that as it is not possible to identify all those likely to have been exposed in this case, it wants to highlight the signs and symptoms to watch out for.

It said that the person diagnosed in this case was “in a number of public settings” in Dublin and Kerry in the week leading up to and including the May bank holiday weekend (25 April to 2 May).

Those who may be at risk include anyone who did not have measles in the past and those who have not been fully vaccinated (ie if they have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine).

Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE consultant in public health said:

Most people will have nothing to worry about as the vast majority of the population have been fully vaccinated. We are being very cautious in this instance because measles is potentially a serious condition. We are currently very close to eliminating measles here in Ireland.

Measles is highly infectious and is spread easily, and there is a high chance that people who have not been fully vaccinated will develop measles if they are exposed.

There are only a handful of cases in measles year, and so far in 2016 there have been two cases. The HSE said that Ireland is striving to eliminate measles entirely.

Anyone with signs or symptoms suggestive of measles, particularly if they have not been fully vaccinated or had measles in the past, should stay at home, not go to school or work and phone their GP and explain that they may be at risk of measles, said the HSE.

Signs and symptoms of measles:

  • Symptoms usually appear about 10 days after exposure. Irritability, a runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes), a hacking cough and an increasing fever that comes and goes.
  • These symptoms usually last two – four days, and can be mistaken for a cold.
  • A measles rash usually appears about four days after the early symptoms.
  • The rash typically starts on the forehead and spreads downwards, over the face, neck and body. The rash consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other. It lasts about four – seven days.
  • Symptoms may also include diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Read: Investigation: Should you vaccinate your children?>

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