'One infected person can infect 10 to 20 people': HSE urge people to get vaccinated for measles and mumps

'One infected person can infect 10 to 20 people': HSE urge people to get vaccinated for measles and mumps

The HSE’s assistant national director for public health is urging anyone who has not been vaccinated for mumps and measles to go to their GP for a free vaccination.

Dr Kevin Kelleher warned that children and students are at increased risk of mumps as they return to school or college after the summer holidays but that the vaccine is available for free at doctor’s surgeries.

Immunisation rates in Ireland have dropped to 91%, and are as low as 80% in some parts of the country, he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Miriam O’Callaghan show.

While vaccination rates are down, control of the two highly infectious diseases is very good, he added.

Both are very serious diseases which can have dramatic outcomes such as encephalitis and meningitis along with infertility for men.

It is worrying that between 6,000 and 7,000 children every year are not vaccinated, said Dr Kelleher.

Not alone are they putting others at risk, but they are also suppressing their own immune systems.

These are the most infectious diseases, one infected person can infect 10 to 20 people in a room. On a bus they could infect 15 people.

If Ireland can get its vaccination rate up to 95% both diseases would be a feature of the past, he said.

With schools and colleges returning, symptoms to look out for are irritation, flu-like symptoms, a rash in the case of measles and swelling along the jaw line with mumps.

Anyone with such symptoms should stay at home so they do not infect other people.

Adults can avail of the free vaccine with the only charge being their GP administration charge.

Children are routinely vaccinated at 12 months, with a booster in Junior Infants.

More on this topic

Harris calls on social media companies to 'badge' reputable sources of vaccine informationHarris calls on social media companies to 'badge' reputable sources of vaccine information

Simon Harris launches alliance to boost childhood vaccination ratesSimon Harris launches alliance to boost childhood vaccination rates

Harris writes to social media giants and tech firm bosses in bid to stop 'misinformation' about vaccinesHarris writes to social media giants and tech firm bosses in bid to stop 'misinformation' about vaccines

Letter to the Editor: Vaccines and the outbreak of reasonLetter to the Editor: Vaccines and the outbreak of reason


More in this Section

Bruton 'determined we end era of self-regulation for social media firms'Bruton 'determined we end era of self-regulation for social media firms'

Bus Éireann to increase after-dark security at Busáras after drivers report attacksBus Éireann to increase after-dark security at Busáras after drivers report attacks

Gun seized as gardaí foil gangland hit in DublinGun seized as gardaí foil gangland hit in Dublin

Man arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find releasedMan arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find released


Lifestyle

We’ll probably be seeing a particular royal in some of these dresses.Video: Temperley’s new collection is your dream holiday wardrobe

It's been a while since we last heard from Damien Rice - four years since his last shows in Ireland, five since his last studio album.Damien Rice is joined by special guests for a truly special show

Your guide to what's on this week.Gardening notes: Your guide to what's on

Timeless, the Irish Antique Dealers Fair, continues this weekend at the RDS in Dublin and is open from 11am to 6pm today and tomorrow.In Brief: Your guide to what's on in antiques

More From The Irish Examiner