Measles outbreak investigation update

Published:

As of 24/6/2016, 31 confirmed measles cases have been notified to HPSC. Another case is considered probable (individual had links to a laboratory confirmed case) and 14 possible cases are under investigation.

Confirmed cases have been reported in the HSE South (23 cases), the HSE Midwest (4 cases), the HSE East (2 cases) and HSE Southeast (1 case) and a probable in the HSE Northeast. All areas are investigating any possible case that is notified to outrule or confirm measles infection.

A national outbreak control team, composed of health protection teams from each HSE area and HPSC was convened in June to coordinate information sharing, investigation and control activities related to the outbreak. Control activities include awareness raising among members of the public, primary care sites, local hospitals, in order to prevent further transmission.

Contacts of cases are identified and informed about signs and symptoms of measles, and asked to seek medical attention if they think they have measles (phone GP first).

Preventing Measles
The best way to prevent measles is by vaccination against the disease with a measles vaccine. This is available as part of the combined Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children and young adults who are not age appropriately vaccinated with MMR vaccine are being recommended to get the vaccine from their GP. MMR vaccine is administered free of charge to all children as part of the routine immunisation programme. In areas where the outbreak is occurring additional measures are in place to ensure that all individuals in need of MMR are able to obtain it free of charge.

All individuals travelling to Europe and other regions where measles continues to occur should ensure that they are vaccinated with MMR if needed. Speak with your GP if you are unsure about your vaccination status and if you should get the MMR.

All children and young people going to language colleges or other summer activities should be up to date with MMR vaccine.