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Taiwan CDC announces second imported measles case this year; Public warned of possible measles exposure at tourist attractions in Taichung City, Tainan City, Taipei City, Changhua and Nantou; Physicians and public warned to stay alert

On March 16, 2011, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced an imported case of measles confirmed in Taichung City. The case is a 23-year-old French exchange student who goes to a college in central Taiwan. On March 6, the student traveled to Taiwan from Paris via Shanghai by airplane. While infectious (3/9~3/17), the case visited a number of tourist attractions in Taichung City, Tainan City, Taipei City, Changhua and Nantou. To promptly prevent the spread of the disease, health authorities have implemented all the necessary prevention control measures upon receiving the report of the measles case. All the contacts of the case were asked to monitor their health and educated about measles. Currently, none of the contacts has developed suspected symptoms. However, as the case has visited several tourist attractions, Taiwan CDC urges physicians and the public to stay alert for the threat of measles. Measles is a highly infectious respiratory disease that is spread by contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person, either directly or through aerosol transmission. Measles is more common during late winter and spring. Early symptoms include fever (over 38℃), coryza, cough, and conjunctivitis. Rash usually starts from behind the ears and spread to the face and down across the body. A case remains infectious four days before and after the onset of rash. Taiwan CDC reminds the public to seek immediate medical attention when sick and avoid going to work or school or taking public transportation to reduce further transmission. Taiwan CDC once again reminds parents the importance of timely vaccination for children. In Taiwan, the existing routine childhood vaccination schedule recommends a dose of MMR vaccine to children 12 months of age and another dose to first graders in elementary schools. Unvaccinated infants and children, those who do not receive vaccine in a timely manner and those who have never been infected with measles are high-risk groups. As the MMR vaccine coverage rate has remained high over the recent years in Taiwan, the number of measles cases occurred has drastically decreased. Taiwan CDC urges physicians to remain vigilant against measles and report a patient to the health authority if he/she develops suspected symptoms of measles such as rash, fever over 38℃ and one of the following symptoms: cough, runny nose or conjunctivitis (sensitivity to light, watering of the eyes or redness in the eyes). In addition, physicians are advised to isolate patients when necessary to prevent further spread of the virus. For more information on measles prevention, please visit the Taiwan CDC's website: http://www.cdc.gov.tw/ or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922.


Source: Centers for Disease Control, R.O.C.(Taiwan)