Taipei MRT passengers warned of measles after infected baby rides Brown Line

Passengers who took MRT during Dec. 13-15 period advised to watch for measles symptoms for up to 18 days

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Wenhu MRT Line. (Photo by flickr user Yusuke Kawasaki)

Wenhu MRT Line. (Photo by flickr user Yusuke Kawasaki)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Taipei City Government Department of Health yesterday (Dec. 23) warned passengers to watch for symptoms of measles after a baby infected with the disease had ridden the Taipei MRT Wenhu Line from Dec. 13-15.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Saturday announced that an 11-month-old baby boy had contracted the disease while visiting the Philippines with family from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Ten days later, on Dec. 14, he developed symptoms of fever and fatigue.

He initially received medical treatment on Dec. 14 and Dec. 16. On Dec. 17, he was treated again because of the appearance of rashes.

On Dec. 22, he was officially diagnosed with measles, and doctors believe he was infectious between Dec. 13-21. The health department said that during that infectious period, the boy had visited two clinics and one hospital.

An estimated total of 221 medical personnel, patients, and family members came in contact with the child during his infectious phase. Some of these people are from other counties and cities, and the health status of all these persons is being closely tracked by relevant county and city agencies.

The baby was taken on the Taipei MRT Wenhu line by his parents from Gangqian Station to Nangang Software Park Station between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 and between 12 and 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 15. He was also taken from the Nangang Software Park Station between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 13, between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 14, and between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Dec. 15, according to the health department.

The baby was also on the third floor of the CTBC Financial Park from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 15.

The health department advises those people who had been at these locations during the time periods mentioned, must monitor themselves for symptoms of the measles for the next 18 days. Those who exhibit the cluster of telltale symptoms of measles, including fever, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, cough, and rashes, must wear a mask to reduce the airborne transmission of the virus and see a doctor immediately.

The CDC said that measles is still endemic in China, the Philippines, and Thailand, and infants who have not completed their measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccinations should avoid travel to these countries. If infants between the age of six months and one year must be taken to these countries, they should be given at least one dose of the MMR vaccine two weeks before visiting these nations.

Measles is a highly contagious disease. The main symptoms include fever, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, cough, Koplik spots, and erythema in oral mucosa. The incubation period is 7 to 18 days. Measles is contagious four days before and after rashes appear.