Warning after measles confirmed in person who has spent time in Dublin and Kerry

HSE working to identify people who may have been exposed to disease

The HSE is investigating a confirmed case of measles in a person who has spent time in Dublin and Kerry.

The person with the infectious disease was in a number of public settings in both counties in the week leading up to and including the May bank holiday weekend, the HSE said.

All known contacts of the individual concerned have been notified and advised of the risk by public health consultants.

The HSE said it was working to identify other people who may have been exposed to prevent further transmission.

It warned that those at risk include anyone who has not had measles in the past and received two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE consultant in public health, said: “Most people will have nothing to worry about as the vast majority of the population have been fully vaccinated.

"We are being very cautious in this instance because measles is potentially a serious condition. We are currently very close to eliminating measles here in Ireland.”

Measles is highly infectious and easily spread. There is a high chance that individuals who have not been fully vaccinated will develop the disease if they are exposed.  

Signs and symptoms

The HSE said anyone with signs or symptoms suggestive of measles, particularly if they have not been fully vaccinated or had measles in the past, should stay at home, not go to school or work, and phone their GP.

Symptoms of the disease, which usually appear about 10 days after exposure, include irritability, a runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes), a hacking cough and an increasing fever that comes and goes.

These symptoms usually last two to four days, and can be mistaken for a cold.

A measles rash usually appears about four days after the early symptoms.

The rash typically starts on the forehead and spreads downwards, over the face, neck and body. It consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other, and lasts about four to seven days.

Symptoms may also include diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain.