Six further cases of measles have been confirmed in Limerick City, bringing to ten the total cases confirmed since the start of January. A number of further possible cases are being investigated so this figure may rise.
This constitutes an outbreak of the disease in the Limerick City. An “Outbreak Control Team” made up of representatives from the HSE are involved in managing the outbreak in an effort to prevent further spread.
The best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with 2 doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-5 years of age. If your child missed their scheduled MMR vaccine dose you should contact your GP to get the age appropriate dose.
“If people are unsure of their vaccination status they are advised to get an MMR vaccine, as even if they do have 2 doses of MMR a third dose is not harmful,” a HSE spokesman said.
The HSE has run a vaccination clinic in the area where cases have been notified and further clinics are planned.
There will be a free MMR clinic in the Southill Health Centre on Friday 9th February 2018 from 10am-1pm. We are calling on those living in the Carew Park and Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick city to attend.
In particular, parents of children aged between 1 year to 12 years of age who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine, parents of children aged between 1 year to 12 years of age who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine, those parents who are unsure if their children have had MMR vaccine and adults under the age of 40 years who have never had the MMR vaccine
“At this point the only way to prevent the spread of this illness is to ensure vaccination of all those who can be vaccinated. This will also protect vulnerable people who cannot be vaccinated including infants, pregnant women and those with very suppressed immune systems (e.g. patients undergoing chemotherapy),” a HSE spokesman said.
Measles symptoms include: high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and red rash that starts on head and spreads down the body- this normally starts a few days after onset of illness. The rash consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other. It lasts about 4-7 days.
Anyone who develops measles symptoms should:
• Stay at home from work. Children should not attend school or crèche. Keep isolated from other people so as to prevent spreading the illness.
• Call the Department of Public Health at 061 – 483338 to advise that you think you/your child may have measles.
• Telephone your GP and advise them that you think you have symptoms of measles (and if you know that are a contact of a case of measles) so that they can see you at a time/place when no one else is there (to avoid infecting others).
• 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.
Patients with symptoms of measles should avoid presenting to the emergency department where possible. If it is necessary to seek urgent care, it is important to inform the ambulance service or emergency department that you have symptoms consistent with measles beforehand so that the appropriate precautions can be taken. Similarly, if you have been in contact with a confirmed case of measles and are seeking medical attention, please inform the healthcare provider before attending
For more information on measles see: http://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/vaccinepreventable/measles/