HEALTH chiefs have declared a measles outbreak in four children in south Belfast.
The Public Health Agency (PHA) said that those with the highly infectious disease had not been vaccinated.
It has contacted the parents of other children who may have been exposed to the infected children.
They have been advised to protect unvaccinated children with the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
PHA health protection consultant Dr Richard Smithson said there was a high uptake of the vaccine in Northern Ireland.
“However, cases which have occurred here in unvaccinated people are of serious concern and remind us that there is no room for complacency,” he said.
“For those children and young people who have not been vaccinated, it is essential that they get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
He said that anyone who may have been in contact with a measles case and who feels at all unwell should stay at home as this is an infectious condition even before the associated rash develops.
“If medical advice is needed, then they should phone the GP or out-of-hours service so that arrangements can be made to see the patient without putting others at risk,” he added.
GPs, hospital staff and emergency department staff have received letters advising them to be vigilant for measles in patients presenting to them.