A measles case has raised the total for the year to 30, the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, calling on the public to take precautions.
A woman in her 20s living in northern Taiwan developed a cough, a sore throat, fever and facial rash on Friday last week, the CDC said in a news release.
The woman consulted a doctor on Wednesday and Thursday, but her symptoms did not improve.
Doctors yesterday confirmed that she had contracted measles and reported the case to the centers, the CDC said, adding that she has been quarantined at her home.
The center said it has identified 72 people who had contact with her over the past few weeks at her workplace, hospitals and in the community where she lives, but did not find anyone else infected.
It is to track the health of those people until Aug. 6, the CDC said.
The woman had not traveled overseas recently, but her neighbor contracted the disease in Indonesia last month, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.
However, if the neighbor passed the disease to the woman last month, it is almost impossible that symptoms did not arise until this month, Lo said, adding that the centers did not rule out that she contracted the disease indirectly.
Thirty cases of measles have been reported in Taiwan this year — a seven-year record — including 18 cases of domestic contagion and 12 cases resulting from travel abroad, mostly in Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, the centers said.
Highly contagious, the measles virus spreads through the air and could be transmitted among passengers on public transport, Lo said.
Once infected, a patient might begin to cough or have a runny nose and fever after one or two weeks, which could develop into more serious complications, such as pneumonia or encephalitis, he said.
The best way to prevent infection is to get the three-in-one vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, he said, adding that parents should have their children vaccinated after they turn one year old and that adults between 20 and 40 without complete vaccination should be vigilant.
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