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New measles case confirmed: CDC

2019/02/13 16:33:01

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

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed on Wednesday a new imported measles case and alerted people in the Greater Taipei area to beware of possible exposure as the patient used the Taipei metro during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The case involved a Taiwanese businessman traveled to Alabang in Manila on a business trip in January, said CDC Deputy Director-General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞).

After returning to Taiwan, the man in his 30s developed a fever and sore throat on Feb. 2, and went to a local clinic seeking treatment.

His condition did not improve after seeing a doctor, and he noticed a rash on Feb. 5, Lo said.

The patient sought treatment again on Feb. 6, when he was confirmed to be infected with the measles and admitted to a hospital, Lo said. The man was then discharged three days later after being cured.

According to Lo, the man took many trips on the Taipei MRT system, visited cafés and restaurants in Taipei's Neihu District and toured the Bitan scenic area in Xindian while he was infected during the Lunar New Year holiday but before he was aware he had the virus.

After an investigation, the CDC found that the patient came in contact with about 120 colleagues, friends, family members and store employees, and the health conditions of those people are being monitored until Feb. 27 when the infection threat ends.

The official reminded people who went to places visited by the patient of possible exposure to the source of infection and advised them to monitor their health closely for 18 days, Lo said.

He urged people to see a doctor and wear a gauze mask if they develop symptoms such as a fever, a rash, rhinitis, pink eye, or coughing.

Taiwan has recorded 12 confirmed measles cases, nine of which have been imported -- five from the Philippines and four from Vietnam -- since the beginning of the year, CDC data showed.

As of Feb. 9, the Philippines has reported over 4,300 cases of measles infection this year, representing a year-on-year growth of 122 percent.

The outbreaks have led to 70 deaths in the Southeast Asian country, where measles epidemics have been seen in Manila, Calabarzon, Luzon, Western Visayas and northern Mindanao, the CDC said.

The agency reminded the public that measles is highly contagious and vaccination remains the best way to prevent infection.

It urged parents to vaccinate children under one-year-old and those under five who have not started elementary school, and to avoid taking children who have not been vaccinated to affected areas.

(By Chang Min-hsuan and Elizabeth Hsu)
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