The Ireland Health Service Executive (HSE) reported Friday on two cases of measles in an adult and a child in Dublin who had recently been in mainland Europe and is asking people to be vigilant about measles.

Image/Robert Herriman

Dr Helena Murray, Specialist in Public Health Medicine said, “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”.

There is a possible risk of measles to people who may have been in the same healthcare setting as these two cases during the infectious period. People at increased risk 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 is for up to 21 days after contact with a case of measles.

Currently the HSE is aware that the two measles cases attended the following healthcare settings while they were most infectious:

Date Time Hospital Emergency Departments
1st July 11.30am-1.30pm Tallaght University Hospital

Adult Emergency Department (ED)

5th July 12am-8am Tallaght University Hospital

Adult ED

7th July 11am-8pm Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
13th July 3pm and 8pm Temple Street Children’s University Hospital
15th – 16th July 5pm-1am Temple Street Children’s University Hospital
16th July 12pm-2.30pm Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin

There are on-going outbreaks of measles in multiple 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.

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Vaccination remains the most effective measure against infection. Children aged 6-11 months of age, travelling to other countries and regions where measles outbreaks are reported, are recommended MMR vaccine. A dose given before 12 months of age does not replace the dose that would normally be given at 12 months of age.

Older children should be age appropriately vaccinated. Children who have missed their recommended doses should get the MMR vaccine from their GP.

Adults may be at risk of measles, particularly those under 40 years of age who have never had measles or two doses of a measles vaccine.