An adult who was diagnosed with measles, has died in Irish hospital, the HSE have confirmed.
The patient who was the first confirmed case in Ireland this year, died in a hospital in the Dublin and Midlands health region, amid an increase in measles cases across Europe over the past few months, including several recorded deaths in Romania.
Between December 2023 and January 2024, 170 measles cases were diagnosed in the West Midlands in England, although all English regions have reported cases.
As for Ireland, two cases were reported in 2022, with four reported last year. No cases were confirmed in 2021, with five reported in 2020. However, the HSE have stated that no deaths were reported in any of these years.
In a statement, the HSE said they were informed of one death from Measles this year.
“HSE public health teams, along with the HSE measles national incident management team (IMT), are taking all necessary public health actions in relation to the case", they said. “The HSE measles IMT was established in response to a recent rise in measles cases in the UK and Europe".
“The HSE will keep the public informed of further measures and, in the meantime, anyone with concerns should contact their GP".
Chief medical officer Breda Smyth has said that she is concerned that Ireland is at high risk of an measles outbreak, as the vaccination rate in the country is under the required rate to prevent the spread of this disease.
The required vaccination rate ins 95%, according to guidelines, with Ireland currently standing at 89.2%, although some areas fall under 80 per cent.
Briefing the cabinet yesterday, Stephen Donnelly revealed that one in five young people in Ireland, aged between 19 and 21 years old, have not been vaccinated against measles.
It is believed that misinformation from the past, has affected the number of children who have received the jab. A catch-up programme was launched last November, as part of GP schemes for those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated to opt into.
The vaccine is also free for children aged 10 years old and under from GPs.