The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the public to get vaccinated for measles in an effort to prevent community infections after it reported one new case of measles and 10 cases of rubella yesterday.
A one-year-old boy in Taipei City was confirmed to be the third person this year to be infected with measles, a highly contagious viral illness, the CDC said.
The baby was living in the same community where two measles cases were reported earlier this year — a 28-year-old student from Switzerland and a 20-year-old Taiwanese university student — CDC Deputy Director-General Shih Wen-yih (施文儀) said, adding that tests revealed they contracted the -disease from the same viral strain.
The baby was discharged from hospital after treatment, Shih said.
Although the three patients did not have any contact with each other, the CDC said the female university student had probably contracted the disease from the Swiss man, who lived within 10 minutes’ walking distance from her, while the woman could have passed the virus on to the baby after falling ill on Feb. 16.
The baby is believed to have been in contact with 155 people, one of whom was a one-year-old baby who had not received a vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella, the health agency said. The baby in question has been inoculated.
So far, there have been no other reported measles cases, but the agency will continue monitoring for further developments, it said.
“We urge the public to take measles seriously because it is a highly infectious disease. One patient can spread the virus to between 12 and 18 others,” Shih said.
He also warned the public to get vaccinated against rubella, commonly known as German measles, because there has been a rise in the number of patients hospitalized with imported rubella.
“Although rubella is a less infectious disease, our primary concern is that infection among pregnant women increases the risk of fetal deformity,” Shih said.
The majority of rubella cases are detected in the 15 to 24 age group, he said. Of the 10 reported cases of rubella this year, nine were imported, mostly from Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. The CDC warned people going to Southeast Asia to get vaccinated for the disease.