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Measles outbreak has now spread to 31 people

Another six people have been diagnosed with the disease in West Cork. None of the initial affected group of 25 people was vaccinated against measles, the HSE has said.

Image: AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

THE MEASLES OUTBREAK in West Cork has now spread to another six people.

The HSE South confirmed today that 31 people have contracted the infectious – and potentially fatal – disease.

It has also emerged that none of the initial 25 people were vaccinated against measles and it is believed the six new affected people also were not vaccinated.

Earlier this week, the HSE urged parents to vaccinate their children against measles.

The HSE has now written to the parents of children who attend a school in West Cork at which all those affected are pupils. It is urging any students who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated.

A HSE spokesperson said that the measles vaccine is up to 96 – 97 per cent effective against measles.

Dr Fiona Ryan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE South said:

Measles can be a serious and potentially fatal illness and children who have not been vaccinated are particularly at risk of measles during this time.

report by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre last year showed there was a 149 per cent increase in measles cases in Ireland in 2010.

It said that the greatest rise in cases were among Traveller and Roma communities and within families who did not have children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Read: Parents urged to vaccinate children after measles outbreak>

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