Taiwan CDC advises public to heighten vigilance for measles as 4 new cases confirmed

The majority of the imported cases acquired infection in Southeast Asian countries

Measles virus infection. (Wikipedia photo)

Measles virus infection. (Wikipedia photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced four new measles cases in Taiwan, including two indigenous cases and two imported cases, on Wednesday (June 4).

Both the two indigenous cases, an under-one-year old baby girl and an over 30-year-old male, live in northern Taiwan, Taiwan CDC said. The two imported cases are in an over 30-year-old male who resides in southern Taiwan, and an over 20-year-old male in northern Taiwan.

To prevent further transmission of the disease, the local health authority has identified 449 contacts, including family members, people at work, healthcare personnel and patients, airline personnel, and tour groups that they came into contact with to monitor and follow up until June 19, the health agency added.

Thus far this year, a cumulative total of 99 measles cases, including 66 indigenous cases and 33 imported cases, have been confirmed in Taiwan, according to Taiwan CDC.

The majority of the imported cases acquired infection in Southeast Asian countries, with Thailand topping the list with 10 cases, followed by Vietnam with 8 cases and the Philippines with 6 cases.

Taiwan CDC once again reminds the public that measles is highly contagious and vaccination remains the best way to ward off infection. Parents are urged to ensure timely vaccination of children under one year old and children under five years old who have not entered elementary school, and avoid bringing unvaccinated children to the affected areas in order to prevent measles.

If such travel is inevitable, children above 6 months old and under 1 year old are recommended to receive one dose of self-paid MMR vaccine two weeks prior to visiting the affected areas at local health stations, Taiwan CDC said.

Travelers planning to visit affected areas are also advised to visit the outpatient travel clinic at contracted hospitals in the nation to determine the need for MMR vaccination. Adults born after 1981 who plan to visit measles-affected areas or are in frequent contact with foreigners due to their jobs are advised to receive a self-paid vaccine, the health agency added.

For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC website or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).