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Three more cases of imported measles confirmed in Taiwan: CDC

2019/01/21 21:35:39

CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) Three more cases of imported measles have been confirmed in Taiwan, bringing the number of such cases to five since the beginning of the year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday.

The figure represents a five-year high during the same period, CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said, warning against travel to Southeast Asian countries, which have seen several outbreaks of the highly contagious disease.

According to Lo, the three women most recently reported to have the measles, aged between 20 and 30, traveled to the Philippines or Vietnam recently.

They developed initial symptoms between Jan. 13 and 15 before red and flat rashes started to spread all over their bodies the following two days.

One of the patients who lives in central Taiwan already had a fever when taking an AirAsia ZEST Airways flight from Manila to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Jan. 17 at around 1 a.m.

Another patient, who lives in the south, toured Rueifong Night Market (瑞豐夜市) in Kaohsiung's Zuoying District on Jan. 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Lo urged people who might have come in contact with the two women to observe their health closely for 18 days and don a mask and see a doctor if they come down with a fever, cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes and red rashes.

From the beginning of this year, there have been five cases of imported measles -- three from the Philippines and two from Vietnam, he said, attributing the phenomenon to a wide spread of the infectious disease in Southeast Asian countries.

In the first 11 months of 2018, the number of measles cases in the Philippines was 4.7 times higher than the 2017 level. The situation also rapidly worsened in Vietnam in December, pushing the number of measles cases there for the whole of 2018 to 10 times higher than the 2017 figure.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Flor Wang)
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