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Donegal, IE: Measles

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    Posted: February 06 2019 at 9:44am
NEW OUTBREAK Parents warned as measles outbreak declared in Donegal with two confirmed cases

The Health Service Executive has said the best way to avoid measles is getting the full two doses of the MMR vaccine as a child - and urged anyone who missed their second dose to get it.

By Stephen Maguire
6th February 2019, 2:10 pm
Updated: 6th February 2019, 2:13 pm

A MEASLES outbreak has been declared in Donegal.

A number of schools have been issued with letters warning parents of the dangers of the highly infectious viral illness.

The MMR vaccine has been used 'for years'

The outbreak has a link to a third-level institute in Galway and so far, there are two confirmed cases.

Measles infection typically causes a combination of a rash, fever, conjunctivitis (red eyes), a cough and a runny nose.

The rash usually starts four days after the other symptoms appear.

The lesions start on the forehead, spread behind the ears and then make their way down the trunk.
The highly infectious virus can cause a rash, fever, cough, and red eyes among other symptoms

The highly infectious virus can cause a rash, fever, cough, and red eyes among other symptoms

And the infection can have serious complications - such as pneumonia, seizures and inflammation of the brain.

One to two out of every 1,000 people who become infected will die.

A spokesman for the Health Service Executive said the best way to prevent measles is with two doses of the MMR vaccine.

It is 99 per cent effective at preventing infection, and the first dose is usually given to children at 12 months of age, with a second shot given at four or five.

Most people born before 1978 have had measles and will not get it again, but anyone born since then, and unsure if they have received two doses of the vaccine, should speak to their GP.

The spokesperson added that the vaccine "has been used for many years and is very safe".

They said: "While the majority of children in Donegal still receive the MMR vaccine, the numbers have been dropping slightly over the past few years.

"As soon as vaccination rates fall, old diseases re-emerge.

"This is why measles outbreaks are occurring in Ireland and across Europe."

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