A Chinese student studying in Taiwan has been confirmed as being infected with rubella, making it the nation’s second case of German measles this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
A 25-year-old Chinese man who arrived in Taiwan in the middle of last month developed a rash earlier this month and was diagnosed with the disease on Monday, the CDC said.
The CDC said that while he was in the infectious stage, the man traveled from Taipei to Yilan County by train, where he visited Taipingshan and Luodong night market, and returned by bus from Feb. 28 to March 2.
Since the report of the infection, local health authorities have been monitoring 177 people who came into contact with the man, including his roommates, fellow tourists, hotel staff and healthcare workers.
The CDC urged those who traveled to the same places during the same time period to be aware of symptoms such as fever, fatigue, rhinitis, enlarged lymph nodes behind the ears and a rash that can cover the entire body.
“[The patient] has been under a self-imposed quarantine since the infection was confirmed. The symptoms are not serious,” CDC physician Philip Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said.
“German measles can be transmitted by airborne droplets, so more than a hundred people are being monitored [for possible symptoms] and will remain under observation until early next month,” he added.
The incubation period for rubella is 14 to 21 days, and as the patient did not display symptoms until 20 days after his arrival, it cannot be determined whether he was infected while he was in China or after arriving in Taiwan, according to the CDC.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the infection’s origin, the CDC said that countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore are currently experiencing rubella outbreaks, and that people planning to travel to those destinations should make sure they are fully protected by effective vaccines by visiting travel clinics two to four weeks before departing.
The CDC said unvaccinated children under the age of one and pregnant women without rubella antibodies should not travel to the rubella-affected regions.