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  • Northside East

More vaccinations urged following measles outbreak

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018 8:00am
More vaccinations urged following measles outbreak
More vaccinations urged following measles outbreak

A NORTHSIDE TD has called for vaccination programmes to be supported following the surge in cases of measles.

Dublin Fingal TD Louise O’Reilly (SF) made the call after the HSE said it is managing a measles outbreak in the North Dublin area. 

The HSE said that since July, there have been 13 measles cases in adults and children in the north inner city.

Deputy O’Reilly, Sinn Fein’s health spokesperson, said that over the past number of years there has been a resurgence across Ireland and Europe of deadly diseases but there are vaccinations to prevent against them. 

“The genesis of this has been the spread of pseudo-scientific arguments online and the circulation of highly discredited research which has led to a loss of confidence in the vaccine among some people,” she said. 

“Currently there is a continental outbreak of measles of which Ireland has not escaped. 

“In the year so far, 76 cases of measles have been detected. This is a staggering increase on last year when only one case was confirmed. 

“Across Europe more than 41,000 people have been infected so far this year with 37 deaths recorded as a result.

“This is almost double the recorded amount in all of 2017 and eight times the recorded incidence in 2016 when only 5,273 cases were recorded.”

Deputy O’Reilly said vaccination rates have dropped across Europe and Ireland has been no different. 

“Not vaccinating a child not only puts that child at risk, it puts us all at risk,” she argued.

“That message needs to be reinforced at every possible juncture, and if needs be, the Department of Health and the HSE should look at the possibility of rolling out an education programmes for parents on vaccinations.

“We have the mechanisms and medicines to stop and eradicate deadly diseases such as measles -but, we need to be sensible and proactive and ensure that our children are vaccinated and that we ourselves are vaccinated.”

Deputy O’Reilly added: “Vaccination programmes save lives, and (there) must be no equivocation, they must be supported.” 

In a statement, the HSE said: “Transmission has occurred in Dublin hospitals and in households with poor vaccine uptake. 

“We are now starting to see cases that acquired measles in the wider inner city community. There have been no deaths from measles associated with this outbreak to date.”

Dr Ruth McDermott, Public Health Doctor, 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.”

The HSE said people at increased risk of getting measles are those who are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine or have not had measles in the past. The risk of measles remains for up to 21 days after contact with a case of measles.

The HSE is advising people who think they may have measles to stay at home and phone their GP for advice.

People who are sick should not attend any congregated settings such as crèche, school, work or religious gatherings until they have recovered from illness, it added.

Meanwhile, Cllr Éilis Ryan of the Workers’ Party said she will be tabling a motion at September's meeting of Dublin City Council, calling for a series of local measures to curtail recent and increasing outbreaks of infectious diseases.

“This is just the latest in a series of outbreaks of diseases which are entirely preventable,” said Cllr Ryan.

“Measles is highly contagious, and even more so in a dense urban area like Dublin. It is right and proper that the city's local authority take emergency action to address the constant cycle of misinformation about vaccinations.”   

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