Measles outbreak investigation update
As of 02/09/2016, 43 confirmed measles cases have been notified to HPSC since May 2016 and 6 cases are under investigation. Most of the confirmed cases were linked to the outbreak that followed measles importation from another European country earlier this year. Although the outbreak appears to be in decline, the risk of importation is still present, and it is possible that some cases may be in the community and not reported.
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 who are returning to school and college in September should be up to date with MMR vaccine.
- Children aged 4-5 years attending school will be offered MMR vaccine through the school programme this academic year (routine programme).
- Older children who missed out on their second dose of MMR in junior/senior infants’ class should contact their GP to get the MMR vaccine.
- Students who are starting college or university for the first time this year, and students returning to college or university, should make sure that they are vaccinated with MMR vaccine. If a student does not have records of receiving two doses of MMR vaccine they are advised that it is better to get the vaccine from their GP or Student health service and not take the risk of getting the disease.