More than 20000 catch measles as parents shun vaccination
More than 20000 catch measles as parents shun vaccination
Measles cases jump by 400% in Europe
21 February, 2018, 07:48
The highest numbers of affected people were reported in Romania (5,562), Italy (5,006) and Ukraine (4,767).
It's now uncommon in the United Kingdom because of high vaccination rates although a year ago there were 282 cases of the disease recorded in the United Kingdom, according to WHO. On Tuesday, the health ministers of 11 countries will meet to discuss working together to achieve the goals set out in the European Vaccine Action Plan by 2020.
Despite this, the World Health Organization reports that multiple actions are being taken across Europe to stop the current outbreaks and prevent future ones, including public awareness campaigns, immunising healthcare professionals and other adults at particular risk, addressing challenges in access, and improving supply planning and logistics.
However, the figures for Ireland show a reverse trend - with more cases in 2016 than in 2017.
An ongoing outbreak in the Limerick area is now being investigated by the Measles Outbreak Control Team.
There will be a free MMR clinic this Wednesday, February 21, 12pm to 3pm, at Barrack View Primary Care Centre, Edward Street, Limerick.
It is mainly confined to two locations - the Ballinacurra Weston area and the Carew Park area of Southill.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. After about 3 days, a rash of "flat red spots" appears on the infected person's body. The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis - an infection that causes brain swelling and can lead to deafness or learning difficulties, severe diarrhea and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
There has been some controversy about whether the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab - included as part of the NHS childhood immunisation programme - might cause autism.
One dose is usually given to a child when they're 12-13 months old and a second dose is given before they start school, usually between three and five years old.
Dr Mai Mannix, director of public health in the Mid-West stated: "MMR vaccine is the safest way that parents can protect their children against measles as infants, young children and their families are particularly vulnerable".
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