A national measles outbreak in Ireland linked to a single imported case, April to September, 2016.
AffiliationDepartment of Public Health HSE South, St. Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork, Ireland
measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
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AbstractEndemic measles transmission was interrupted for the first time in Ireland in 2015. In May 2016, a case of measles was confirmed in an adult who had travelled from Hungary to Ireland (index case). Cases subsequently arose in five of the eight public health regions around the country. There were 40 confirmed cases in Ireland between April and September 2016. All sequenced cases were genotype B3. Vaccination status was known for 34 cases, of whom 31 were unvaccinated. Median age was 8 years (range: 3 months to 40 years). Ten cases were nosocomial, and three cases were infected on separate international flights. One linked case occurred in a resident of Slovenia. Nineteen cases were hospitalised; median duration of hospitalisation was 5 days (range: 2-8 days). The primary case was a child who travelled from Romania to Ireland via Budapest, and infected the index adult case on the same flight. This was the first reported outbreak of measles genotype B3 in Ireland. This outbreak demonstrated that Ireland remains at risk of measles outbreaks due to persistent suboptimal vaccination rates.
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