The fifth imported case of German measles this year has been reported, involving a 21-year-old Malaysian tourist who came to Taiwan on Oct. 20, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, cautioning that as the traveler went to several tourist sites across the nation, people who have been to those places should be on alert for rubella symptoms.
The man has been placed in quarantine after exhibiting a fever and rashes, and being confirmed to have had rubella since Saturday last week, the agency said, adding that a total of 211 people who had contact with him are being monitored, but have so far displayed no measles-like symptoms.
The CDC said there was a period of communicability from Oct. 25 to Saturday last week before the man was hospitalized, and the infectious traveler went to many tourist attractions in Greater Kaohsiung, Chiayi, Nantou County, Taipei and New Taipei City (新北市).
CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) called on those who have been to the areas to self-monitor for 21 days (until Nov. 23) for symptoms such as light fever, nasopharyngitis, swollen lymph nodes behind the ear or a rash with irregular-shaped papules.
Anyone displaying those symptoms should seek medical attention as soon as possible and inform the physician of any history of contact with the infected man, Chuang added.
Neighboring countries such as Japan, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia and some European countries have all reported cases of the disease this year, and cross-border transmission can easily take place via tourism, the CDC said.
As of Wednesday, a total of five imported cases of German measles have been reported in the country, four of which were from Japan.
The CDC advised against traveling to areas with the epidemic with infants under the age of one or pregnant women who are without antibodies against rubella, and urged those aged between 20 and 50 and who will come into contact with babies aged below one and pregnant women after returning from epidemic-affected areas to be evaluated for vaccination at travel clinics two to four weeks before embarking on the trip.