Measles cases increase in Ireland

According to an annual report published by the Health Service Executive Health Protection Surveillance Center, the number of measles cases in Ireland rose 149 percent from 2009 to 2010.
There were 403 cases of measles reported in 2010, up from 162 cases in 2009. The center said that 108 of the cases last year resulted in hospitalization. Cases chiefly occurred in children who had not been vaccinated, the Irish Times reports.
Other European countries also experienced measles outbreaks last year.
While measles was on the rise, many other diseases in Ireland had a decrease in the number of cases. Mumps cases fell by 53 percent, MRSA cases fell by 14 percent and HIV cases fell by 21 percent. After a vaccine was introduced for pneumococcal disease in 2008, the incidence of all invasive types of the disease fell by 25 percent in 2010.
Darina O'Flanagan, the director of the Health Protection Surveillance Center, said that the decline in many diseases was quite welcome and was due to strong public health surveillance and hard work in the battles against infectious diseases, according to the Irish Times.
O'Flanagan said that a catch-up MMR vaccination campaign would be required to control and eliminate the continued transmission of mumps, measles and rubella in Ireland.