A person in Ireland has been diagnosed with rubella for the first time in more than a decade, it has been revealed.
The Department of Public Health has been notified in recent days about a confirmed case of rubella, which was contracted in another country.
Rubella is an infectious disease that is caused by a virus, according to the HSE, and it can cause a fever of 38C or over, and a distinctive red-pink rash.
In most cases, rubella is a mild condition, but it can be serious in pregnant women as it can harm the unborn baby.
Individuals with rubella are most infectious from one week before to one week after the onset of the rash.
The person in this new case first experienced their rash on January 28 this year, according to an email sent to healthcare workers in Cork from Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health for HSE South.
The last confirmed acute rubella case in Ireland was notified in 2009, Dr Pereira explained.
“Since then, although each year suspected rubella cases are notified, to date none have met the case definition for confirmed,” he said.
“A probable case, with exposure in another country, was notified in 2014.
“In April 2016, WHO [World Health Organisation] announced that rubella transmission has been interrupted and Ireland is now considered free of endemic rubella.
“However, the risk of transmission if the virus is re-introduced still exists.”
Dr Pereira said the incubation period for rubella is 14-17 days with most people developing a rash 14-17 days after exposure.
He called on GPs and other healthcare workers in Cork to support the HSE’s approach to minimise or eliminate the risk of rubella transmission by encouraging vaccination.