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40% of patients impacted by measles outbreak hospitalised

There were 48 measles notifications known to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) by 25 August, since the beginning of the recent outbreak, according to figures provided to MI. “Eighteen cases (38 per cent) were hospitalised,” a HSE spokesperson told MI.

The last week in August marked the 18th week of the outbreak. Of the 48 measles notifications, the majority were residents of the Cork/Kerry region, with 28 cases reported from these counties, with Kerry most affected. Five measles cases have been reported from both the HSE Midwest and HSE East, with six measles notifications from the HSE Southeast; and two from both  the HSE West and HSE Northeast.

The majority (40) of these are laboratory confirmed, seven are possible and one is probable, according to the HPSC. Additional cases have been notified and following investigation many have been de-notified when testing revealed that the patient’s illness was not caused by measles.

During this time, two measles cases were imported from outside Ireland (other European countries).  The first importation resulted in many secondary cases. Thirty-eight confirmed cases are linked to the first importation and one possible case is linked to the second imported case

The HSE told MI that the majority of cases were males (28), and the age range of cases was three months to 40 years. Eleven cases were aged 20 years and over and eight were aged less than one year.

The HSE spokesperson said that no “new measles advertising campaign has been planned at this time”, however, resources have been used in fighting the outbreak.

“To date, press statements and updates have been circulated to both national and local media,” said the spokesperson. 

“Medical experts have carried out interviews on national and regional radio stations. Health professionals have also been communicated to and are kept updated on the current measles outbreak.

“A national outbreak control group was convened at the beginning of the outbreak to share information and maximise control activities including communications.

“The National Immunisation Office procures MMR vaccine for the national programme and supplies have been delivered to areas requiring additional supplies to meet the demand as a result of the outbreak,” the spokesperson said.

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