Measles cases in Ireland increased by 244% in 2018

Measles cases in Ireland increased by 244% in 2018
File photo.

There has been a 244% increase in measles cases in Ireland between 2017 and 2018.

According to UNICEF Ireland, there were 86 cases here last year, up from 25 on the previous year.

The charity is warning that global cases are also surging, with 98 countries reporting a rise.

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power says it is a worrying trend considering there is a vaccine available.

"It really is a wake-up call," he said.

"We have a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine which has saved a million lives every year for the last 20 years.

"There really is no excuse now for the misinformation, the mistrust and the complacency that has crept into measles vaccination around the world."

Mr Power says vaccination is key to reducing the numbers. He says it is a worry that many people are not using it.

"These alarming increases that we see in Ireland and around the world are a growing threat to children," he said.

"Every government - here in Ireland and around the world - must do everything in their power to ensure that there is correct information out there, that there is trust in the vaccinations.

Every single death by measles is preventable. We have safe vaccines to deal with every possible case.

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