Significant Increase In Measles In Europe, HSE Urge Vaccination
Wednesday 31st, January 2024
InternationalIreland Report / Story
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) are reporting that there has been a notable surge in measles cases in parts of Europe and the UK, prompting health authorities to issue a crucial advisory. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is urging parents and individuals to take proactive steps to ensure they are up to date with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious disease that can spread rapidly, particularly among those who are not vaccinated.

Key Recommendations:

  1. Check Vaccination Status:
    • Ensure that you and your family members are up-to-date with the MMR vaccine.
    • Contact your GP to verify the vaccination status of your child.
    • The MMR vaccine is administered in two doses, with the first dose at 12 months and the second in junior infants.
  2. Vaccination:
    • Schedule a vaccination appointment with your GP if any family member has missed an MMR vaccine.
    • Administer the first MMR dose at 12 months to prevent delays and severe outcomes, as measles can be more severe in young children.
  3. Hygiene Practices:
    • Maintain proper hand hygiene by washing hands frequently with soap and water.
    • Avoid touching the face, especially the eyes, nose, and mouth, to reduce the risk of infection.
  4. Monitor for Symptoms:
    • Be vigilant for symptoms of measles, including high fever, cough, runny nose, and a characteristic red rash.
    • If symptoms emerge or there has been contact with a confirmed case, stay at home and contact a doctor for advice. Inform healthcare providers of any recent travel history.
  5. Travel Precautions:
    • If planning to travel to the UK, ensure that you have received the appropriate number of MMR vaccines for your age.
  6. Isolation and Visitor Guidelines:
    • If someone in your family is suspected to have measles, contact a doctor immediately for advice.
      Keep the affected individual at home and restrict visitors unless they are protected against measles (have had two doses of MMR vaccine).

The importance of adhering to these recommendations cannot be overstated. Measles is preventable through vaccination, and ensuring that individuals are up-to-date with the MMR vaccine is crucial to protecting both the individual and the community. With the mid-term break approaching, those planning to travel to the UK should take extra precautions. The HSE emphasises that it's never too late to catch up on missed childhood vaccines. By taking these steps, we can collectively contribute to preventing the spread of measles and safeguarding the health of our communities.
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