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Measles Spreading Throughout Ireland as 14 further potential cases are Investigated and an eleventh patient Confirmed


One confirmed outbreak of measles has occurred locally, involving the transmission of the infection to four individuals, indicating that measles cases are not solely “imported” from abroad but have also spread within Ireland. Additionally, there are currently 14 probable and possible cases under investigation, with samples sent to laboratories for confirmation. Last week, two cases were confirmed.

Among the confirmed and investigated cases last week, two were reported in the east, two in the midlands, one in the north-east, one in the south, and two in the south-east regions. Of these cases, five affected children under four years old, three affected children aged five to nine, one affected a teenager, and one affected an individual aged 45 to 54. Six cases were males, and four were females.

The incubation period from exposure to initial symptoms typically ranges from 11 to 12 days. Rash onset usually occurs around 14 days after exposure, with a range of seven to 21 days. Measles typically begins with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash several days later. Some individuals may also experience small spots in their mouth.

Recent cases this year include the death of a man in his 40s from Westmeath who contracted measles abroad and two air passengers diagnosed with measles last month, along with another case in the west.

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine provide protection against measles, and vaccination is critical given that vaccination levels in Ireland are below the recommended 95%. There is particular concern for individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and infants under 12 months old.

The HSE is currently implementing a measles vaccination program through GPs and its own teams. MMR vaccines are provided free of charge by GPs, primarily for those under 18 years old, and by HSE community clinics for eligible individuals aged five and over. Information on vaccination clinics, including appointments and walk-in options, is available on the HSE website. Additionally, the HSE is organizing clinics tailored to specific groups, including students, young people in educational settings, and underserved communities such as refugees and minorities.

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