Measles outbreak in NUI Galway - update
As of April 23rd the HPSC has been notified of 15 measles cases from Mayo, Kerry and Galway which are linked to the measles outbreak reported at the end of March 2014 among students or contacts of students attending higher education institutions in Galway. The average age of cases is 20 years (median 19 years) with an age range of 14-33 years. Ten cases are laboratory confirmed. Vaccination status was reported on 12 of the 15 cases; 8 were unvaccinated; four cases reported either one (1 case) or two doses of MMR vaccine (3 cases); but for only 1 of the individuals who reported two doses of MMR were records available to confirm vaccination.
The Department of Public Health HSE West has issued a warning to all students attending higher education institutions in the city that they should ensure that they have received two doses of MMR vaccine to protect themselves, their contacts and the wider community. One dose of MMR does not provide adequate protection against measles as it protects only about 95% of individuals. http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/measlesnuig.html
Risks to students in other universities/colleges in Ireland
Due to the expected inter-action between NUIG students with other university/college students in the western region and across the country, the HSE would like to remind all third level university students in Ireland that they too should ensure that they are fully protected against measles and have received two doses of MMR vaccine. Most Irish students would have received two doses as part of the national immunisation programme either from their GP or the HSE services.
University students should establish with their families if they are fully vaccinated and protected. If they do not have any record of MMR vaccination they should contact their GP or student health service and obtain vaccination as soon as possible.
Measles is highly contagious and can cause serious complications for young children and adults. Vaccination is the only way to prevent outbreaks occurring.
Parents of all children should use this opportunity to ensure that their children are vaccinated with MMR. The first dose is usually given at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-5 years of age.
Further information on measles can be found at http://www.hpsc.ie/hpsc/A-Z/VaccinePreventable/Measles/Factsheet/.