A PUBLIC health warning has been issued after four new cases of measles were reported in Dublin.
It comes after the HSE issued a previous alert last month in relation to two other cases of measles.
The sufferers - two adults and two children - are likely to have contracted the illness from contact with one of the two earlier cases in hospital, the HSE said.
Dr Helena Murray, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, said: "Measles can be a serious illness and is highly infectious.
"The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine."
According to the HSE, measles symptoms include:
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Red rash that starts on the head and spread down the body
- Vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain
People at increased risk of contracting measles include those who are not fully vaccinated with both doses of the MMR vaccine or who have not had measles in the past.
The time period between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days but can range anywhere from one to three weeks.
Sufferers are infectious from four days before the rash appears until four days after.
Measures to prevent the spread of measles if you suspect you have it include:
- Do not go to work, school or crèche
- Stay at home and phone your GP; tell the doctor or nurse that you think you might have measles
- Stop visitors coming to the house to prevent the spread of measles
- Pregnant women who have been exposed to measles should seek medical advice as soon as possible
Risk of measles from international travel:
There are ongoing outbreaks of measles in multiple countries in Europe 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, the HSE said.
Unrecognised exposures to measles have occurred at airports, on planes, at concerts, in shops and health care settings.
So far this year, 31 deaths associated with measles have been reported in EU countries.
Advice for people travelling abroad:
Vaccination remains the most effective measure against infection.
Young children aged 6-11 months who are travelling to other countries and regions where measles outbreaks are reported are recommended to get the 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, the HSE advised.
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.