HSE warns students about measles outbreak

The HSE has warned students in all Irish third level institutions to be aware of Measles symptoms after an outbreak of the highly contagious disease in NUIG.

In March, NUIG reported two cases of Measles amongst students, and since then a total 15 people who are either students or have had contact with NUIG students contracted the disease. The ages of the cases were between 14 and 33, with the average age reported at 20.

Triona Keane, the Health promotions Officer in DCU, has warned students that the symptoms to be wary of are a high temperature, a rash on the skin and a feeling similar to having a cold or flu. They could also feel sensitive to sunlight and may have problems with their voice caused by the swelling of the throat (laryngitis).

“The biggest problem is that if it’s not treated, Measles can get quite serious,” Ms Keane said. She has urged the students of DCU to visit their GP if they feel the symptoms given. She said that often it can be the case that if the patient brings down their temperature with paracetamol, it may ease the other symptoms.

Most of the time, if a doctor diagnoses Measles, the patient will not need to stay in hospital. Usually treatment will involve plenty of rest, fluids and paracetamol to bring down a high temperature or ease any aches or pains.

The MMR vaccine, which is received twice by most students as part of the national immunisation program, prevents the effects of Measles. If any student has not received two doses of the vaccine, the HSE urges them to visit their GP or contact the HSE.

The HSE has urged students across Ireland to establish with their families whether or not they were vaccinated, and if not then to arrange vaccination with their GP as soon as possible.

James Concannon

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