Three more cases of measles confirmed in Taiwan

(photo courtesy of CDC)

(photo courtesy of CDC)

Three more cases of measles have been confirmed in Taiwan, bringing the number to 11 since the beginning of the year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday.

The three new cases include a woman in her 20s, who came in contact with a measles patient living in northern Taiwan, confirmed as an imported case from Vietnam on Jan. 16, and another two imported cases -- one man in his 30s from Haiphong City, Vietnam and a 7-year-old girl from Manila, the Philippines, according to a CDC statement.

The three new patients developed symptoms from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, the CDC said in its statement.

Of the 11 measles cases confirmed this year, eight were imported, four from Vietnam and the Philippines each, and three indigenous cases, it indicated.

Local health authorities have so far observed 238 people who came into contact with the three indigenous cases, as well as a further 60 and 125 people in contact with the imported cases from Vietnam and the Philippines, the CDC added.

The CDC reminds the public that measles is highly contagious and vaccination remains the best way to prevent infection. Parents are urged to ensure timely vaccination of children under one-year-old and those under five who have not started elementary school, and to avoid taking unvaccinated children to affected areas.

If such travel is unavoidable, it is recommended that children over 6 months and under 1-year-old should receive one dose of self-paid MMR vaccine at a local clinic two weeks prior to trips.

Travelers planning to visit affected areas are also advised to visit an outpatient travel clinic at a contracted hospital in the nation concerned to determine the need for MMR vaccination.

Adults born after 1981 who plan to visit measles-affected areas or are in frequent contact with foreign nationals due to their jobs are advised to pay for vaccination. (By Wang Chao-yu and Romulo Huang)