herald

Thursday 13 December 2018

HSE issues Temple Street warning as child measles outbreak worsens

Symptoms include a red rash
Symptoms include a red rash

The number of children affected by Dublin's measles outbreak has now risen to 11.

The HSE is "particularly concerned" about children who were in specific areas of Temple Street Children's University Hospital at specific times on four dates in the past fortnight.

These children may have been exposed to an infectious case of measles, it said.

The dates, times and areas are:

  • Wednesday, July 25, 9.30am-2pm, Outpatients Department.
  • Thursday, July 26, 7.15pm-midnight, Emergency Department.
  • Friday, July 27, 4.20pm-7.30pm, Emergency Department.
  • Monday, August 6, 2.20pm-10pm, Emergency Department.

"If you or your child attended the hospital on any these dates and you or your child develop symptoms of measles, stay at home and phone your GP."

People are at risk of contracting measles for up to 21 days after contact with a case.

Symptoms include a high fever, a cough, a runny nose, red eyes and a rash that starts on the head and spreads down the body. Victims may also experience vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.

Dr Helena Murray, the Specialist in Public Health Medicine, said: "Measles can be serious and is highly infectious.

Vaccine

"The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine."

The HSE said that there are on-going outbreaks of measles in Europe and the rest of the world. "Most cases in the EU have been reported from Romania, France, Greece and Italy. Most holidaymakers do not know they were exposed to measles until they develop the disease. "

More than 31 deaths associated with measles have been reported in the EU this year.

The HSE said vaccination is the most effective measure against infection.

Children aged 6 to 11 months who are travelling to countries where measles outbreaks are reported are urged to have the vaccination. However, this does not replace the dose that is given at 12 months of age.

Older children should be vaccinated appropriately to their age.

Children who have missed their doses should get the MMR vaccine from their GP.

Adults may be at risk of measles, particularly those under 40 who have never had measles or two doses of a measles vaccine.

The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is 7-21 days.

People are infectious from four days before rash starts until four days after.

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