Parents urged to ensure children are protected against measles before travelling this Easter
There have been international outbreaks..
The HSE is urging parents to ensure their child is vaccinated against measles if they are travelling abroad this Easter as outbreaks are recorded internationally.
The health services are encouraging people to keep their children up to date with MMR vaccines. The vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
There have been outbreaks of measles reported across the world including the US, South Africa, Nepal and Austria. So, before you travel abroad this Easter mid-term, make sure you and your family are protected.
Most cases of measles reported in Ireland have been imported from other countries or are linked to imported cases.
According to Dr Suzanne Cotter, a specialist in Public Health Medicine, measles are "highly infectious and can be an acute and serious infection."
The World Health Organisation recently published an updated fact sheet about measles with information on the symptoms, treatment and prevention.
It says the first sign of measles is usually a high fever that begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure.
A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage.
After several days, a rash will appear, usually on the face and upper neck. Over 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash can last for 5 or 6 days and then fades.
Most measles-related deaths are caused by complications associated with the disease. They are more common in children under the age of 5 or adults over the age of 30.
Dr Suzanne Cotter explained: "The only protection against measles is vaccination."
She said if children are not fully protected, the vaccines can be obtained from a GP or a travel health clinic. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are required.
In Ireland, the first dose of MMR is offered in GP's when a child is 12 months old.