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Taiwan reports 1st local measles case since September 2022

02/19/2024 10:49 PM
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A New Taipei City health worker is giving an adult an MMR vaccine shot during a press event alerting the public about catching measles during overseas trips in 2015. CNA file photo
A New Taipei City health worker is giving an adult an MMR vaccine shot during a press event alerting the public about catching measles during overseas trips in 2015. CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Monday urged the public to stay alert after Taiwan reported its first locally acquired case of measles since September 2022.

CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) told reporters that the infected individual was a man in his 30s from northern Taiwan who sought emergency treatment at hospital on Feb. 13 after developing a fever the previous day.

The man, who continued to run a high fever, was diagnosed with measles on Feb. 15 after developing additional symptoms, including coughing and a soar throat, Lo said.

The man was placed in an isolation ward following his diagnosis, where he remains, Lo said.

Graphic Centers for Disease Control
Graphic Centers for Disease Control

Given that the man has no travel history during his exposure duration in recent months, the origin of his infection is still being investigated, the CDC official said.

According to Lo, 199 people -- four family members who lived with the man, another two non-cohabiting family members and 193 others whose hospital visits overlapped with the man's -- have been identified as close contacts.

In addition, as the man visited a Kura Sushi outlet in Zhubei, Hsinchu County on Feb. 11, anyone who was at the location between 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. that day should pay attention to any symptoms they develop until Feb. 29, Lo said.

This is because the measles is contagious four days before and after a rash appears, Lo said.

Anyone developing symptoms such as a fever, rhinitis, conjunctivitis or a rash should quickly alert the health authorities to help reduce the spread of the virus, Lo said.

Graphic: Centers for Disease Control
Graphic: Centers for Disease Control

Since 2020, Taiwan has reported four measles cases, involving individuals aged between 20-40, the CDC said.

Two were locally acquired, while the other two were imported from Thailand and Turkey, the CDC said.

Citing World Health Organization data, the CDC said that measles infections began to spike globally last year, with most of the cases being reported in Yemen, India and Ethiopia.

In addition, the CDC said that Europe reported over 58,000 cases of the disease last year, 62 times the number recorded in 2022.

At the same time, the Eastern Mediterranean region detected nearly 89,000 cases, a 1.6-fold rise, while around 85,000 cases occurred in Southeast Asian countries, 1.7 times higher than the 2022 figure, the agency said.

Most of those infected were children under 5, it added.

(By Flor Wang and Tseng Yi-ning)

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