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Measles immunisation for West Cork

11 June 2012 09:06

Immunisation is the way forward against measles, health experts have said

Immunisation is the way forward against measles, health experts have said

A national measles vaccination initiative will be put into action following an outbreak of the disease in West Cork.

From September the immunisation will target secondary school students and then primary after 50 students were infected last month - two were taken to hospital. Visitors to Ireland should ensure their health with a pre-existing medical travel insurance plan.

HSE assistant national director of health protection Dr Kevin Kelleher said they were trying to protect more children from the disease by instigating the programme in the autumn.

He added: "From this coming academic year, we're going to have a catch-up programme going through the schools, starting in the secondary schools and then moving down into the national schools as time moves on.

The HSE are urging children, especially the younger ones to get vaccinated and there has been a surge of this in the West Cork area. One third of measles cases lead to complications and out of every 1,000 there are usually between one and three deaths. One in five cases need hospitalisation.