Measles vaccinations urged
People are urged to get vaccinated against measles before traveling to the UK for the Olympic Games because a number of cases have been reported there this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday. As of April 29, there have been 1,279 suspected cases of measles in the UK this year, 196 more than in the same period last year, according to a statement released by the CDC. With the measles season under way in Europe, people attending the Games are advised to consult doctors about inoculation programs two to four weeks before departure, the CDC said. Ukraine, which is hosting the European Football Championship this month, has also seen a large number of measles cases this year.
New crabs discovered
A research team recently found two kinds of crabs on Siaoliouciou (小琉球), an island off the southwest, that had never before been recorded in Taiwan. One of the two, charybdis paucidentata, commonly known as the red or crucifix crab, is a rare swimming crab species mostly found in the Red Sea and in waters off East Africa, Australia and Japan, the team said. The crab was caught by fishermen just off the shore of Siaoliouciou Island in April, said National Kaohsiung Normal University geography professor Lo Liu-chih (羅柳墀), who led the research team. A member of the research team spotted the crab among the waste dumped by fishermen. The other crab, the Pseudomicippe indonesica, is a rare species in the spider crab family, Lo said, adding that Taiwan is now only the second place in the world where the crab has been spotted, along with Indonesia.
HIV Testing Month declared
The Taiwan AIDS Foundation said on Friday it has designated this month as National HIV Testing Month and will offer testing services at locations nationwide. The foundation, set up in 2005 to serve as a platform for AIDS prevention, said the activity was inspired by the designation of June 27 as National HIV Testing Day in the US by the National Association of People With AIDS. The foundation said that according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, 22,296 Taiwanese had been infected with HIV from 1984 to February. An equal number are thought to have the virus without knowing they are infected, the foundation said. “Because the incubation period of HIV is about 10 years, these people could spread the virus through unsafe sex without realizing that they have been infected,” the foundation said.
Complaints increase: bureau
New Taipei City’s (新北市) Labor Affairs Department said yesterday the number of complaints lodged by foreign workers through its 1955 hotline from January to April rose by more than 80 percent from the same period last year. Among those cases, 24.9 percent concerned disputes over payment, it said, adding that employers who violate workers’ rights face fines of up to NT$300,000. In one dispute, the department said it ordered an employer to pay a foreign caregiver overtime and reimburse unfair salary deductions after the worker complained she was receiving a monthly salary of only NT$19,000, despite working up to 18 hours a day. Workers should be able to keep their work permits and passports, the department said, adding that to avoid possible disputes, employers should not assign workers additional tasks.