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Taiwan confirms first German measles case this year

Taiwan confirms first German measles case this year

The Centers for Disease Control on Saturday confirmed the first case of German measles, also known as rubella, in Taiwan this year and called on the public to be on alert if they travel to Southeast Asia.

The CDC said the patient, a 39-year-old woman living in northern Taiwan, developed rashes and sought treatment on Jan. 18.

The situation did not improve, however, and after developing a fever, a cough and lymphatic swelling in her neck, she saw a doctor again on Jan. 20 and was diagnosed as having German measles.

The patient is now recovering well and has been removed from quarantine, the CDC said.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw said the woman was visiting Hong Kong during the exposure period, making it likely that her condition was an imported case.

During the disease's communicable period from Jan. 11 to 25, the patient was at home except when she flew back to Taiwan or sought treatment at medical institutions.

To prevent the spread of the disease, health officials have gained access to 80 people who were in close proximity to the woman, and none have developed suspicious symptoms, the CDC said. They will continue to be observed until Feb. 15.

There were seven confirmed German measles cases in Taiwan in 2015, with four of them imported and three who were infected locally. Among the imported cases, two were from China, one was from Vietnam and the source of the other case could not be identified.

Chou said 95 percent of Taiwan residents have been infected with the disease or vaccinated against it, and most people have only mild symptoms if infected.

But he warned that the consequences of infection during pregnancy could be serious, including stillbirths or natural abortions. It could also result in the fetus being born deaf, or suffering from glaucoma, cataracts, impaired intelligence or heart disease.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Lilian Wu)
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Updated : 2021-04-14 23:17 GMT+08:00