There are now fifteen cases of measles infection confirmed in Limerick City this year and a linked case confirmed in Dublin. These cases have attended a number of community and healthcare settings across the city. Most cases so far are associated with the Ballinacurra Weston and Carew Park (Southill) area of the city. A number of suspect cases are also being investigated.
Official immunisation uptake statistics for the first dose of MMR (recommended at 12 months of age) show that uptake in Limerick city and county has been consistently just below the target of 95% which the WHO recommends for population immunity over the past number of years
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 MMR vaccine you should contact your GP.
Dr. Mai Mannix , Director of Public Health in the Mid-West stated that ‘ MMR vaccine is the safest way that parents can protect their children against measles as infants, young children and their families are particularly vulnerable. MMR vaccine is used in 90 countries around the world and the World Health Organisation recognises MMR as a highly effective vaccine with an outstanding safety record. Parents of children in Limerick city and county , Clare and North Tipperary should ensure their child is fully vaccinated for MMR and bring their child for vaccination if they have missed or not already had the correct number of doses for their age’
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.
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 on Wednesday February 21 at 12 noon – 3pm, at Barrack View Primary Care Centre, Edward Street, Limerick.
We are calling on those living in the Carew Park and Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick city to attend.
· Parents of children over 1 year of age who have never had the MMR
· Children attending school who have not had 2 doses of MMR
· Those parents who are unsure if their children have had MMR vaccine.
· 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) .
For more information on measles see: http://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/vaccinepreventable/measles/
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