Ten new measles cases and two enterovirus with severe complications were confirmed last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
The 10 measles cases were all in northern Taiwan, with eight people in two clusters and the remaining two having come into contact with cases confirmed earlier this year, the agency said.
One of the clusters consists of six people who work at the same technology company, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said, adding that the first person to contract the disease began exhibiting symptoms on April 24 and their diagnosis was confirmed on Saturday.
The six people had visited several public places during the communicability period, including the Yehliu Scenic Area (野柳風景區) in New Taipei City, Taipei Arena and an Ambassador Cinema in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, as well as taken several rides on Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system, he said.
The details of the public places they visited during the communicability period are available on the CDC’s Web site (www.cdc.gov.tw), he added.
Measles is a highly contagious disease that can spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes, CDC physician Huang Wan-ting (黃婉婷) said, adding that the virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after the infected person leaves, and confined and semi-confined spaces can have higher transmission risks.
The other cluster is comprised of two men who work at the same bar and exhibited symptoms from April 15 to Wednesday last week, Chuang said.
While neither man had recently traveled overseas, they often meet foreigners at their workplace, so they could have been infected by people who carried the virus from another nation, he said.
The source of their infection is still being investigated, he added.
A total of 89 cases — 59 infections in Taiwan and 30 infections from overseas — have been confirmed this year, the agency said.
The two new cases of enterovirus infection with severe complications were a one-year-old girl in northern Taiwan and a five-day-old boy in central Taiwan, it said.
Both children have recovered and were discharged, it added.
A total of 7,183 hospital visits for enterovirus infection were reported last week, an increase of about 12.7 percent, the agency said.
The dominant virus in circulation over the past four weeks has been coxsackie A virus, while sporadic enterovirus 71 infections have also been reported, it said.
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