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First case of rubella in Ireland in more than a decade confirmed at company in Cork

The HSE is advising that the best protection from rubella is the MMR vaccine.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/pavodam

THE FIRST CASE of rubella in Ireland in more than a decade has been confirmed at a company on the northside of Cork city.

The Department of Public Health in the HSE South issued a statement in which they confirmed that they were notified of a case of rubella in recent weeks.

However, although confirmed locally they refused to comment on the area where the rubella was detected.

“The HSE cannot comment on the specifics of the case, as we have a duty to protect the privacy of the person affected. We will not make any comment that could identify the individual involved.

“However, we can confirm that all precautionary steps have been taken to alert anyone who may have been in contact with the individual.

“The Department of Public Health, HSE South has been in touch with GPs in the area. 

“GPs in the area have been asked for their support in maintaining increased surveillance, and also to encourage any non-vaccinated individuals born after 1978 (less than 42 years of age) to get the MMR vaccine. The vaccine is free of charge, and available from your GP.”

Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health, HSE South advised that the best protection from rubella is the MMR vaccine.

Rubella is a contagious disease caused by the rubella virus. Rubella is a notifiable disease, which means that medical practitioners must notify the HSE of suspected cases.

It is usually a mild acute viral disease accompanied by a low grade fever and a red rash usually starting on the face and progressing from head to foot.

It may be fleeting but typically lasts about three days. It can be itchy. The rash is fainter than the measles rash and may be more obvious after a hot shower or bath. 

If a woman gets rubella during early pregnancy it may cause miscarriage or stillbirth. 

Nine out of 10 babies will have major birth defects such as deafness, blindness, brain damage or heart disease. This is known as congenital rubella syndrome. 

Individuals with rubella are most infectious from one week before to one week after the onset of the rash.

The incubation period is 14-17 days, with most developing a rash 14-17 days after exposure.  

 The last confirmed acute rubella case in Ireland was notified in 2009.

More information about rubella can be found on the HSE website here.

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Olivia Kelleher

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