HSE issue URGENT public warning as 11 cases of highly contagious illness is confirmed

13th Feb 18 | News

The HSE have confirmed that 11 cases of measles have been diagnosed in the ongoing outbreak of the illness across the country.

Earlier this month the HSE revealed that one case of measles was confirmed in Limerick and today they confirmed that 10 cases have now been diagnosed in Limerick with one other case now also confirmed in Dublin. 

The HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) also stated that more possible cases of the illness are being investigated and the number is likely to rise.

A spokesperson told thejournal.ie: “The measles outbreak control team is continuing to investigate the measles cases and offer advice on the measures to control the further spread of this potentially serious illness.”

The HSPC also says that if you have any symptoms suggesting you have measles you should stay at home, not go to school or work and inform your GP.

The HPSC also stated that the best way to protect yourself against the illness is to be fully vaccinated.

As a result of the outbreak in Limerick, the HSE is offering free MMR vaccines to prevent the illness from spreading further.

People most at risk of catching measles are those who either have not had measles infection in the past, those who are not fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR vaccine (in particular babies younger than 12 months who are too young to be vaccinated), and those with weakened immune systems.

Anyone who has been exposed and is not immune to measles may develop measles up to three weeks following date of exposure.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness and early symptoms can include a runny nose, red eyes, swollen eyelids, sneezing and fever. A few days later, a red-brown spotty rash appears and lasts for about a week. It starts behind the ears, before spreading around the head and neck, and eventually to the legs and the rest of the body.

So, what should parents be looking for if they suspect their child might have contracted measles? The symptoms of the disease begin to appear between seven and twenty-one days after infection. Here are some of the things to look out for: