Measles outbreak in North Dublin inner city

Published:

Since July, there have been 13 measles cases in adults and children associated with an outbreak in North Dublin’s inner city. Transmission has occurred in Dublin hospitals and in households with poor vaccine uptake. Cases that acquired measles in the wider inner city community are now starting to be seen. There have been no deaths from measles associated with this outbreak to date. The outbreak is being managed by the Department of Public Health East.

Measles can be a serious illness and is highly infectious. The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine. People at increased risk of getting measles are those who are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine or have not had measles in the past. The risk of measles remains for up to 21 days after contact with a case of measles.

If you think you may have measles, stay at home and phone your General Practitioner (GP) for advice.

People who are sick should not attend any congregated settings such as crèche, school, work or religious gatherings until they have recovered from illness.

All Emergency Departments and GPs in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow have been informed by Department of Public Health East of this measles outbreak. 

Measles symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Red rash that starts on head and spread down the body - this normally starts a few days after onset of illness. The rash consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other. It lasts about 4-7 days
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also happen.

Measures to prevent the spread of measles if you think you may have measles:
1. Do not go to work, school or crèche or any congregate setting such as shopping centre/cinema etc.
2. Stay at home and phone your GP. Tell the doctor or nurse that you think you might have measles.
3. Stop visitors coming to your house to prevent the spread of measles.
4. Pregnant women who have been exposed to measles should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Risk of measles from international travel:
There are on-going outbreaks of measles in many countries in the European region and worldwide. Most of the cases in the EU in 2018 were reported from Romania, France, Greece, and Italy. Most people who get measles on holiday do not know they were exposed until they develop disease. Unrecognised exposures to measles have occurred at airports, on planes, at concerts, in shops and health care settings. In 2018, 31 deaths associated with measles have been reported in EU countries.

Further information on measles can be found at:

HSE Press Release: North Dublin measles outbreak update [released 22/8/18]

HPSC http://www.hpsc.ie/hpsc/A-Z/VaccinePreventable/Measles/Factsheet/