The Kaohsiung Department of Heath yesterday imposed a fine on low-cost carrier Tigerair Taiwan (台灣虎航) for letting flight attendants work after they were found to have symptoms of measles, caused by a recent clustered outbreak.
The airline faces a fine of between NT$60,000 (US$2,040) and NT$300,000, based on the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法), department Disease Control Division head Pan Chao-ying (潘炤穎) said.
Two Tigerair flight attendants who were confirmed to have measles also face fines, Pan said, adding that a flight attendant in his 30s has already been fined NT$12,000 and a flight attendant in her 20s would be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000 for still traveling around Taiwan after the onset of symptoms.
The outbreak of measles began with a Taiwanese man who was infected in Thailand last month and, unaware, in the same month took a Tigerair flight to Okinawa, Japan, where he was diagnosed with measles.
Including the original patient, a total of 13 measels cases have been confirmed and are associated with the outbreak this month: one colleague of the patient; two Tigerair flight attendants, one crew member and one passenger who were on the flight to Okinawa with the patient; and four Tigerair flight attendants and one crew member, as well as two ground employees of other airlines, who were indirectly infected.
Pan said the male flight attendant who was fined showed symptoms on March 24, but still flew, and the female flight attendant who would be fined showed symptoms on April 5, but between then and April 12 still flew to Thailand, Macau and South Korea, and on April 13 traveled to Kaohsiung by high-speed rail.
The department urged people who experience symptoms of measles, including fever, coughing, runny nose, watery eyes and red, blotchy skin rashes, to seek immediate medical attention and stay at home if diagnosed.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed a separate measles cluster at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City, with the source being a woman who contracted the disease in Macau and had blood drawn at the hospital before she was diagnosed with measles.
Two other measles cases were confirmed and associated with the woman: a male nurse in his 20s working at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and a female patient in her 40s who was at the blood drawing station on the same day as the patient, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.
A man in his 20s who traveled in Thailand between April 3 and April 8 began experiencing suspected measles symptoms and was confirmed to have the disease yesterday, but is viewed as an independent case.
The CDC said 22 confirmed measles cases were reported this year — seven contracted abroad and 15 contracted domestically.
While the centers and local health departments would continue to monitor outbreaks and people who have had contact with the patients, the CDC advises people traveling to areas where the disease is prevalent to get vaccinated before departure, it said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up