Wed, May 09, 2018 - Page 3 News List

CDC declares end to confirmed cluster measles outbreaks

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Centers for Disease Control Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping gives a report at the centers’ headquarters in Taipei yesterday on the measles cluster outbreaks.

Photo: CNA

A number of clustered measles outbreaks that were first confirmed in late March have come to an end, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.

There have been 24 confirmed cases of measles this year, including three clustered cases, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said.

A total of 8,456 people were put on a watch list by local health departments after coming into direct contact with the confirmed cases, Liu said.

Of those, 7,549 were removed from the list after the observation period ended, including the 4,645 exposed to a clustered outbreak associated with low-cost carrier Tigerair Taiwan, and 215 people who were exposed to clustered cases in a hospital in southern Taiwan, she said.

Fourteen others who had direct contact with clustered cases at a hospital in northern Taiwan would continue to be monitored until Monday, Liu said.

The clustered cases linked to Tigerair were the largest clustered outbreak in the nation in a decade, but they have come to an end, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.

The CDC has asked the airline to explain how it handled the cases, and it is discussing with legal experts to identify whether the airline is at fault and should be fined, Lo said.

The CDC asked airlines to have their employees receive measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines, and so far more than half have been vaccinated, he added.

There are about 11,000 shots of MMR vaccine available for people who want to be vaccinated at their own expense and about 4,000 shots would be distributed to hospitals with higher risks of infection, Lo said.

As a new batch of vaccines is expected to arrive in the middle of next month, the vaccines would no longer be subject to controls at that time, and adults from 20 to 40 years old who often visit other nations might consider getting vaccinated at their own expense, he said.

The CDC urged healthcare practitioners to ask patients about their travel history, occupation, contact history and possible exposure clustered outbreaks when handling patients with suspected measles symptoms.

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