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Two cases of measles confirmed in travelers returning from Philippines
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2014-02-23 02:52 PM
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed the third and fourth cases of measles this year among travelers returning from overseas areas. The two cases are nine-month-old twin girls living in southern Taiwan who traveled with their parents to visit the Philippines in December to visit relatives. After they returned to Taiwan January 19 they both developed fever, a rash and other symptoms and we hospitalized for treatment. They were both discharged February 15. To prevent further spreading of the disease, health authorities have identified 961 persons with who the two girls came in contacts and will monitor them for symptoms of measles until March 3.

CDC notes that the Philippines is considered a measles infected area, particularly in Manila in northern Luzon and Calabarzon in central Luzon region as well as southern Mindanao island areas. Cases of measles have been reported recently among travelers from Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, Singapore, Japan and other countries who have visited the Philippines, most of whom have not been effectively vaccinated against the disease. Another measles infected area is Vietnam heating up. As of February 5 a total of more than 620 cases of measles had been reported including seven cases of deaths among children, the highest number recorded for the same period in the last three years. More than 160 children have been hospitalized, including 20 with severe pneumonia and breathing difficulty, again mostly among children who have not been vaccinated. Several provinces in Vietnam including Hanoi in the north, Yen Bai and Lao Cai provinces, Son La province in the northwest and Ho Chi Minh City in the south have reported cases of measles.

Measles is a highly contagious disease, but it can effectively contained through vaccination. Anyone traveling to the Philippines or Vietnam to visit relatives or for business or travel should pay close attention to personal hygiene and not bring along children under one year of age who have not had a complete series of shots for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). In addition, some infants and young children who have been vaccinated may have lost some of their immunity and could be at risk of infection, thus it is recommended that anyone traveling to an infected area receive a booster shot two to four weeks prior leaving the country.

Anyone experiencing fever, a runny nose, eye discomfort, a rash and other symptoms after returning from an infected area should medical attention as soon as possible. The physician or nurse should be given a complete travel history. Anyone who has a question related to measles or other communicable disease is encouraged to contact the CDC on our toll-free hotline at 1922 or 0800-001922, or visit our website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw

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