SEVERE warning issued following FURTHER outbreak of highly contagious illness

21st Mar 18 | News

"This is a serious public health issue."

In an urgent appeal to the public, the HSE is asking adults aged under 40 across to get the MMR vaccine which is available free from GPs.

According to the Limerick Post, there are now 25 cases of Measles confirmed in the Mid-West region since the beginning of the year. Almost two thirds of cases are aged between 15 and 40 years demonstrating that measles is not just an illness of childhood. Half of the cases have been hospitalised.

A spokesperson for the HSE said:

"This measles outbreak is continuing because we do not have herd immunity – i.e. the proportion of the population immune to measles is less than 95%. This is a serious public health issue.

It is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

It is spread easily through coughing and sneezing. Measles can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and inflammation of the brain and can, in rare cases, lead to a fatal disease of the brain which develops years after the infection.

The mortality rate from measles infection is 1-2 per 1,000 cases.”