Measles Outbreak in North Dublin

Measles outbreak in North Dublin

The HSE has advised that they are dealing with a Measles outbreak in North Dublin and that 13 cases have been confirmed since July.

Dr Ruth McDermott, public health doctor said: “Measles can be a serious illness and is highly infectious. The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine.”

From the HSE website:

People at increased risk of getting measles 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 remains for up to 21 days after contact with a case of measles.

If you think you may have measles, stay at home and phone your General Practitioner (GP) for advice.

People who are sick should not attend any congregated settings such as crèche, school, work or religious gatherings until they have recovered from illness. Actions taken to prevent further cases:

The Public Health Department has sent information on measles to all Emergency Departments and GPs in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow to inform them of this measles outbreak.

The Public Health Department gives the following advice on the most effective measures to control the further spread of this potentially serious illness:

Vaccination with measles containing vaccine (MMR):

All children should get the MMR vaccine when they are aged 12 months. If any child aged over 12 months has missed this vaccine they should get it now from their GP.

All children should get a second dose of MMR vaccine when they are 4-5 years old.  This is usually given in Junior Infant Class at school. If a child has missed this second MMR vaccine they should get it now from their GP.

Adults under 40 years who have not had measles or have not received 2 doses of MMR vaccine should contact their GP to get the MMR vaccine.

Measles symptoms include:

High fever

Cough

Runny nose

Red eyes

Red rash that starts on 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, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also happen.

Measures to prevent the spread of measles if you think you may have measles:

1. Do not go to work, school or crèche or any congregate setting such as shopping centre/cinema etc.

2. Stay at home and phone your GP. Tell the doctor or nurse that you think you might have measles.

3. Stop visitors coming to your house to prevent the spread of measles.

4. Pregnant women who have been exposed to measles should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Risk of measles from international travel:

There are on-going outbreaks of measles in many 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.

Advice for people travelling abroad:

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. This is an extra 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.  Please note, if requesting the MMR for babies from 6-11 months to protect them while travelling, the vaccine itself will be free but there will be an administration fee to be paid to your GP for this vaccine (as it is a travel vaccine).”

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.

More about measles:

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 four days before rash starts until four days after.

Complications of measles:

Measles can cause chest infections, fits (seizures), ear infections, swelling of the brain and/or damage to the brain. Measles is a notifiable disease and GPs and hospital clinicians should immediately notify Public Health if they suspect someone has measles. Last updated on: 22 / 08 / 2018

Minister, Consultant, and GPs Agree free service needs proper resources before expansion of under Six GP scheme.

“Political decisions have real world implications very very quickly” – A & E consultant Dr Chris Luke

D Doc saw a 58% increase in under six consultations in January.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said on RTE Tuesday that “you have to have the capacity in the system” in order to expand the free GP care to all age groups.  The minister said that currently the system would be short “about 500 GPs” to provide such a service. On the same programme Dr Chris Luke, consultant in emergency medicine said that has been a significant increase in the number of under sixes attending A & E’s across the country. Dr Luke said that “inevitably there is going to be competition of resources…you can’t look after two patients at the same time, you can look after the toddler or the eighty  year old on the trolley, you can’t look at both simultaneously”. Dr Luke said “Political decisions have real world implications very very quickly”

Dr Gary Stack, Medical Director of South Doc which covers the largest geographical area covering cork and Kerry said that they have experienced a huge increase in demand with a 46% increase in October. “There is less time in which to see patients and there are increased waiting times which can adversely affect the outcome for the patient who needs more urgent care”.

Dr Mel Bates, Medical director for D Doc which covers North Dublin said of the new demand created by free GP care to under sixes. “I don’t think anyone expected it to become as big as is has become”. Dr Bates referring to the minister’s comments said he “welcomed the fact that they are reflecting on the extra workload that had occurred”. Dr Bates said D Doc saw a 58% increase in under six consultations in January. Here is what the minister and Dr Bates had to say…