The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday called on parents of children under the age of one or of those who have yet to receive immunization against measles with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine to avoid taking them to epidemic areas, after three cases of unvaccinated children who caught the disease while travelling in China were confirmed.
As of Thursday, the CDC said that four imported cases of measles had been confirmed, of which three were from China and one was from South Korea. The three cases from China all involved children under the age of one, who have yet to reach the minimum age to start receiving the MMR vaccination.
One of the cases, confirmed by the center on May 1, involved a 10-month-old girl who traveled to China with her mother in February and developed measles-like symptoms, such as a fever, cough, runny nose and rash while in China and later displayed a lack of appetite and energy after returning to Taiwan.
Since the girl was still contagious when she flew home, the CDC has traced and monitored nine close contacts on the plane and 80 from the hospital she visited, but none of them are suspected of being infected, the center reported.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread to others four days before and after a rash appears, the CDC said, adding that the MMR vaccine is so far considered the most effective prevention measure against the disease.
The CDC also cautioned parents of children younger than 12 months or having only partially completed the MMR vaccination schedule against bringing the children to regions affected by outbreaks of measles, such as China, South East Asia and Europe.