The HSE have confirmed that a case of measles has spread to Limerick and have warned those who have been exposed to the virus that they may get infected also.
There is currently an "ongoing large outbreak" of measles in Europe and there have been more than 120 cases which have affected five areas in England.
A spokesperson for the HSE Department of Public Health in Limerick told The Irish Independent that: "As a precaution the HSE is writing to all patients identified as being at risk of exposure advising them that they may be at risk of infection."
There has been a risk of exposure to measles at Shannondoc in Dooradolye and at Zone A in the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick.
More serious cases of measles can result in inflammation of the brain with some cases even causing brain damage.
Less than one in 1,000 measles cases result in more serious issues involving the nervous system, such as inflammation of the brain, a quarter of those can result in brain damage.
A HSE spokesperson went on to say that: "Anyone who has been exposed and is not immune to measles (either through natural infection or MMR vaccination) may develop measles up to three weeks following date of exposure.
"Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days (range 7-21 days).
"People are infectious from 4 days before rash starts until 4 days after."
These are the things to look out for:
- Ear infections
- A severe cough
- Breathing difficulties
- Viral and bacterial infections
- Eye infections
- Runny nose
- Stomach cramps
- A rash that starts on the head and spreads down the body - consists of flat red and brown blotches that blend into each other and last for around four to seven days.
The HSE is urging anyone with measles symptoms to:
- Stay at home from work. Children should not attend school or crèche.
- Call the Department of Public Health at 061 – 483338
- Telephone your GP immediately
- Experts also recommend that the best way to protect against measles is to get the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, all children should get their first dose of this at 12 months and the second when they are aged 4-5 years.
You can find more information on the matter here.