HSE Warns on Possible Rise in Measles in Europe and UK regions

The HSE is cautioning parents about a notable surge in measles cases in certain areas of the UK and Europe. They are urging people to take preventive measures against the virus, emphasizing the importance of ensuring children have an updated MMR vaccine, which also provides protection against mumps and rubella.

Dr. Lucy Jessop, Director of the National Immunisation Office for the HSE, emphasized the rapid spread of the virus among unvaccinated individuals and its potential seriousness, especially for babies and vulnerable populations. Stressing the vital importance of vaccination against diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella, she highlighted the potential severe consequences, including meningitis, hearing loss, and complications during pregnancy. Dr. Jessop also reassured that individuals who have missed childhood vaccines can still catch up on their vaccinations.

Dr. Lucy Jessop, during an appearance on the Today with Claire Byrne program, highlighted the extreme contagiousness of measles, emphasizing that one case can easily spread to up to twelve other people. With the mid-term break approaching and increased travel, she warned that individuals are contagious for several days before the rash appears. Urging parents and guardians to consult with their GP, Dr. Jessop emphasized the importance of ensuring that children are fully vaccinated.

A general practitioner (GP) expressed growing concern over the insufficient vaccination coverage against measles in Ireland. Dr. Ilona Duffy highlighted the importance of achieving a vaccination rate of around 95% to ensure overall protection and reduce virus cases. However, the current figure is below 90%. Dr. Duffy cited various reasons for this, including the arrival of new cohorts of people in Ireland who do not believe in the benefits of vaccines.