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Four healthcare workers at Cathay hospital contract measles: CDC

2019/08/17 20:56:43

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) Four members of the healthcare staff at Cathay General Hospital in Taipei have contracted measles after treating a patient with the infectious disease, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Saturday.

The patient, a man in his 30s, had recently returned from Vietnam and sought treatment at the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a measles infection made worse by the fact that he also has an autoimmune disease, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.

Four of the healthcare staff who came in contact with the patient at the hospital have now been confirmed to have contracted measles and are receiving treatment, Chuang said.

Another person, who happened to have traveled on the same plane when he was returning from Vietnam on July 29, has also been diagnosed with measles and is being treated, he said.

Some 1,981 people known to have had contact with the four healthcare personnel at Cathay hospital and the two patients are being monitored until Sept. 6 and attempts are being made to locate others, Chuang said.

Cathay General Hospital Vice President Lee Chia-lung (李嘉龍) said he has instructed the hospital's medical staff to take all possible precautions against the spread of the disease, including obtaining the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The MMR vaccine is generally not administered before the age of 1, therefore, parents should avoid taking their young children to areas where there has been an outbreak of measles, the CDC.

Also, disinfection is being carried out throughout the hospital, and posters on measles prevention have been plastered on the walls to raise awareness of the symptoms of measles, Lee said.

The symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and a red rash, he said, advising people to seek medical attention if they develop such symptoms.

According to CDC statistics, a total of 119 measles cases have been reported in Taiwan so far this year, 72 of which were domestic cases. Among the 47 imported cases, 17 were from Vietnam, 12 from Thailand and seven from the Philippines, the data showed.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Ko Lin)
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