Second Tigerair Taiwan flight attendant confirmed with measles

Up to 1,000 people might have been in contact with two Tigerair Taiwan flight attendants diagnosed with measles. (By Wikimedia Commons)

Taipei (CNA) - A second case of measles has been confirmed among flight attendants working for budget airline Tigerair Taiwan, raising concern for the passengers on the six flights the second victim worked on after contracting the virus.

Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang of Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported on Wednesday a new imported case of measles contracted by a female flight attendant in her 20s who works for Tigerair Taiwan.

On March 17, the steward who was the first reported case of measles and the stewardess came into contact with a 30-year old Taiwanese man who contracted measles in Thailand and flew to Okinawa in Japan where he was treated.

The steward, in his 30s, was confirmed to have contracted the disease on April 3. He was put under quarantine on April 2, according to Tigerair Taiwan.
Although the stewardess stopped working after she fell ill on April 1 and was later informed by the CDC that she had measles, the window of infection during which an infected person can spread the disease is four days before and after the onset of the fever, Chuang said.

In other words, passengers on the six flights the stewardess worked from March 29-31 could have caught the virus from her. Those flights were from Taoyuan to Osaka, Osaka to Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung to Tokyo, Tokyo to Taoyuan, Taoyuan to Macao, and Macao back to Taoyuan.

The CDC has identified the 852 people the stewardess came into contact with and are monitoring their health.

This marks the sixth confirmed case of measles in Taiwan this year, with three being domestic and three imported -- two from Thailand and one from Indonesia.
While some symptoms of measles can resemble that of a cold, such as fever, coughing, and a runny nose, Hwang Kao-ping, a pediatrician at Taiwan's China Medical University Hospital, said that what sets measles apart is the Koplik spots that develop inside the mouth before the rash appears.
Once the rash presents, it lasts for four to seven days, Hwang said. (By Chen Wei-ting and Kuan-lin Liu)