Measles is an acute viral disease. It has been a notifiable disease in Ireland since 1948. Measles starts with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. It’s followed a few days later by a red rash that starts on the head and spreads downwards over the face, neck and body. Measles can cause chest infections, fits, ear infections, swelling of the brain and brain damage. Measles is worst for children under one year of age, pregnant women, and people with poor immunity. Measles virus is highly contagious and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Make sure your child is protected with measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children should get the MMR injection at 12 months of age and again at 4 to 5 years of age. 

In Ireland, sporadic measles cases continue to be reported to the HSE. From 2020-2023, most confirmed cases reported recent travel to countries where outbreaks were ongoing. In 2024 to date, just over half of the cases reported so far have no known travel link. Small outbreaks with person to person measles transmission are also being reported.

Last updated: 18 April 2024