Something going around?

Written by Dr. Kate McCann
14th June 2024

Feel unwell? Got a temp? What should you know about what’s going around?

1. If you are travelling with infants age 6-11 months abroad this summer, do talk to your GP about an early MMR vaccine 2 weeks before you travel. Why? There is sharp increase in measles across the continent and UK at the moment, and infants are vulnerable to serious disease. The vaccine is safe in that age group, but can’t replace the 12 month routine dose later. (short version of why: Under age 1, the immune system is too immature to make lasting protection from that vaccine.) If you are unsure whether you have had your booster MMR as an adult, it is safe to get a booster dose. Why do we care about measles? Infants can become very unwell with it (1-2 in 1000 infants with measles can die, and more can get inflammation of the brain that can cause long term problems.)

Are you Vaccine Hesitant? 

2. https://www.hpsc.ie/news/title-24363-en.htmlCovid: yes, it’s another wave. Good news: this variant doesn’t seem to be any more serious, but can still cause problems for the vulnerable including elderly, those in long term care facilities, those with weak immune systems. Covid boosters are available until 14 June for these groups. What else to know? If you feel unwell with a covid or flu-like illness, do antigen test. While you might not be too unwell, it might be kind to avoid people that potentially may become more unwell, including those already suffering with #longcovid

3. An increase in Parvovirus B19 right now. It’s a common childhood infection (also known as “slapped cheek “). It usually is a mild illness: fever, rash (kids), and joint pain (adults). What to know? Around 60% of adults are immune, but it can cause problems in pregnant women sometimes. If you are pregnant and have been exposed to a case and/or develop a rash, let your midwife or GP know.

 

Lastly, Hajj: this year, pilgrims were advised to get the ACWY meningococcal vaccine before travel. If you are returning and are unwell with fever, cough or breathing difficulties, do seek medical treatment. Phone ahead before attending the emergency department, and inform them of your recent travel to Saudia Arabia.

Dr. Kate McCann is a former Fellow, Eck Institute for Global Health, University of Notre Dame and former Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine.  She has also worked in filiaris (parasitic disease) prevention and treatment in Léogane, Haiti.  She remains active in clinical infectious disease research and continues work in collaboration with Centre for Experimental Pathogen Host (CEPHR) UCD, including published papers on Covid immune responses and long covid phenotypes. Yes, she really does know what’s in a vaccine and how it works.  No, unfortunately, she does has still never seen any of that “Big Pharma” shill money everyone keeps talking about nor has she been promised a good place in Bill Gates new world order.

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