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High Risk Of Measles Outbreak In Ireland.

With the Health Service Executive (HSE) warning of the high probability of an outbreak of measles, here in Ireland; the Executive is now working on a programme to expedite vaccinations for teenagers and young adults.

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable infectious disease caused by measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days.
Initial symptoms typically include fever, often greater than 40°C (104°F), cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes.

Mr Stephen Donnelly (Minister for Health) is expected to discuss the matter with Cabinet Ministers today, confirming the likelihood of a significant increase of measles cases, which has been notified across Europe this winter; thus raising concerns about wide transmission of the disease in Ireland.

Due to low vaccination rates, it is estimated that up to one-fifth of the population in some Irish counties have no protection against the disease. Vaccination rates have fallen below the critical level of 95% here in Ireland, with almost 1 in 5 males aged 18 and 19 unvaccinated.
It is hoped that a programme for Leaving Cert and 3rd level college students, could encourage many of those persons, whose parents were discouraged from taking advantage of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, (the first dose of which is generally given to children around 9 months to 15 months of age), all because of a false and now long discredited link with autism.

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly led to a major slowdown, world-wide, in immunisation efforts against one of the most contagious viruses which is so easily preventable.

The World Health Organization and the US Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention, in November last year, both stated that there had been a massive annual rise in measles cases and resulting deaths globally.

Last July, British Health Authorities warned of a steady rise in measles cases and warned of the risk of a resurgence of the virus, particularly in large cities which could occur due to low vaccine coverage rates.
Ireland recorded only four cases of the disease in 2023, same being imported from outside the EU in a single family outbreak, however, no cases as yet have been reported so far this year.

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