The HSE has confirmed an outbreak of the measles in Limerick. They released a statement on their website saying;
As a precaution, the HSE is writing to all patients identified as being at risk of exposure advising them that they may be at risk of infection. There was a risk of exposure having occurred at the following times and places:
Thursday, 4th January, 20.40 to 23.50
Sunday, 7th January, 13.30 to 16.00
Sunday, 7th January, 14.00 to 00.30
Zone A, ED, UHL
Tuesday, 9th January 11.00 to 13.00
Zone A, ED, UHL
Anyone who has been exposed and is not immune to measles (either through natural infection or MMR vaccination) may develop measles up to three weeks following date of exposure.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days (range 7-21 days). People are infectious from 4 days before the rash starts until 4 days after.
Measles symptoms include:
- High fever
- A cough
- A runny nose
- Red eyes
- Red rash that starts on the 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, diarrhea and tummy pain may also happen.
Anyone who develops measles symptoms should:
- Stay at home from work. Children should not attend school or crèche.
- Call the Department of Public Health at 061 – 483338 to advise that you think you/your child may have measles.
- Telephone your GP so that they can see you at a time/place when no one else is there (to avoid infecting others).
- Your GP may organise a test to confirm the diagnosis – this is usually done by using a small swab that takes a sample of the oral fluid from the mouth.
Prevent measles with the MMR vaccine
The best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with 2 doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-5 years of age. If your child missed their scheduled MMR vaccine dose you should contact your GP to get the age-appropriate dose.
People most at risk of catching measles are those who either have not had measles infection in the past or are not fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR vaccine such as babies younger than 12 months who are too young to be vaccinated, and those with weakened immune systems.
For more information on measles see: http://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/vaccinepreventable/measle