A case of measles has been confirmed in Limerick and the HSE is writing to all patients at risk of exposure advising them that they are in danger of infection.
The risk of exposure has been at the following times and places:
Thursday, January 7 (20.40 to 23.50) Shannondoc, Dooradoyle;
Sunday, January 7 (13.30 to 16.00) Shannondoc, Dooradoyle;
Sunday, January 7 (14.00 to 00.30) Zone A of the emergency department at UHL;
Tuesday, January 9 (11.00 to 13.00) Zone A of the emergency department at UHL.
Anyone who has been exposed and is not immune to measles (either through natural infection or MMR vaccination) may develop measles up to three weeks following date of exposure.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days (range 7-21 days). People are infectious from 4 days before rash starts until 4 days after.
Symptoms include: high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a red rash that starts on head and spread down the body. The rash, which normally starts a few days after onset of illness, consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other. It lasts about 4-7 days.
Vomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also occur.
Anyone who develops measles symptoms should stay at home from work or school; call the Department of Public Health at 061 – 483338 to advise that you think you or your child may have measles; contact your GP to see you at a time/place when no one else is there.
Your GP may organise a test to confirm the diagnosis – this is usually done by using a small swab that takes a sample of the oral fluid from the mouth.
According to the HSE, the best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at four to five years of age. If your child missed their scheduled MMR vaccine, you should contact your GP to get the age appropriate dose.
People most at risk are those who either have not had measles infection or are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine such as babies younger than 12 months who are too young to be vaccinated, and those with weakened immune systems.
More information on measles here
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