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Second case of measles confirmed in Ireland


A second measles case in Ireland has been confirmed by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

The HPSC said it was notified yesterday of the case in the west of the country.

It said the Health Service Executive’s public health teams, along with the HSE Measles National Incident Management Team (IMT), are taking all necessary public health actions in relation to the case, which is understood to be in a teenager.

The IMT was established in response to a recent rise in measles cases in the UK and Europe.

The HSE said it will keep the public informed of any further measures that are needed as required and, in the meantime, anyone with concerns should contact their GP.

If they have symptoms they should do this initially by telephone.

Last month, a man in his 40s from Westmeath died in the first confirmed case to be notified to authorities in Ireland this year.

This was also the first death from measles in the State in more than two decades

Over 300,000 people will be offered a measles catch-up vaccine, under plans drawn up by health officials.

The HSE is still finalising the plans for the roll out of a proactive MMR vaccine catch-up programme, which will prioritise groups including children and young adults, healthcare workers and underserved groups including refugees, applicants seeking protection and the homeless community.

The current public health advice indicates that people born in Ireland before 1978 are likely to have been exposed to measles as children and, therefore are unlikely to require an MMR vaccine.

Further details of the MMR catch-up programme will be announced shortly.

MMR vaccines protects against measles, mumps and rubella. MMR vaccine uptake in Ireland is below the WHO recommended target of 95% uptake, which is required to prevent measles circulating.

This week the HPSC was notified of nine possible cases of measles. Seven of these were in babies and children under four years, while two were in children aged between five and nine. All of these cases are still subject to confirmation through laboratory testing.

Three possible cases were in the southeast, two in the east, two in the northeast, one in the midlands and one in the midwest.

GPs have been alerted to look out for the signs of measles and most of the possible cases reported to date have not gone on to be confirmed as measles.

The symptoms of measles include cold-like symptoms such as aches and pains, a runny nose, sneezing and a cough.

Patients can also develop sore red eyes that may be sensitive to light. Other signs include a temperature of 38C or above, which may reach around 40C.

Small greyish-white spots can appear in your mouth before a rash which usually appears on the head and neck first before spreading to rest of body.

Other symptoms include a loss of appetite, tiredness, irritability and a general lack of energy.


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