A case of measles has been confirmed in Galway, and is believed to be linked to an outbreak in Limerick.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has confirmed that there are now 28 confirmed measles cases linked to the outbreak.
The majority of these are in Limerick City. There is one associated case in Galway, one in Clare and one in Dublin. No further details have been released in relation to the ages or locations of the confirmed cases.
There are also a number of cases in the South East area, who are possibly linked to the Limerick outbreak.
The Measles Outbreak Control Team is continuing to investigate the measles cases and offer advice on the measures to control the further spread of this potentially serious illness.
For the duration of the outbreak, the MMR vaccination is free of charge to the public from GPs, as the HSE is paying for the vaccine and for the GPs to administer the vaccine.
According to the HPSC, the best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine.
“The HSE is advising all adults aged under 40 to check if they have had two doses of MMR and if not to arrange to get immunised by their GP. This outbreak demonstrates that measles is not just a childhood illness, around half of the cases are adults aged less than 40 years of age.
“Parents of children in the region should also check if their children have had the vaccines appropriate for their age (first one at 1 year, second one in Junior Infants in primary school).
“If you have symptoms suggestive of measles you should stay at home, not go to school or work and phone your GP and explain that you may have measles. People who have not been fully vaccinated with MMR vaccine or have not had measles in the past are at high risk of getting measles if exposed.
“Those most at risk of catching measles are those who 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.”