TAIPEI, Taiwan — A 24-year-old male student was confirmed to be the 21st measles case of the year at Ren-ai Township (仁愛鄉) in Nantou County, said the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday.
According to the CDC, symptoms such as fever, runny nose and red rashes started to appear for this student on Oct. 9. The student went to a doctor Oct. 13. As the local doctor suspected that it might be measles, the case was reported to the CDC and confirmed to be measles yesterday.
Due to the fact that the patient did not have any travel history, the CDC deemed that it is a local case and needs to be followed up on to prevent a potential outbreak of measles infection around the neighborhood.
The local health department has already tracked down 198 people who had contact with the patient, including his family, classmates, colleagues at a fast food chain and health care workers. So far, none of them have similar symptoms. Still, these people will be under observation until Nov. 1.
In addition, since the patient has a part-time job at a McDonalds located on Xueshi Road (學士路) in Taichung, the CDC reminded citizens who had been to this fast food restaurant from Oct. 5-13 to examine themselves. If similar symptoms show up, they need to go to the doctor as soon as possible and report their recent history of interpersonal contact for the health department to investigate.
The CDC stated that measles is known to be a highly contagious disease. People can be infected easily if they have not been vaccinated with MMR, an immunization vaccine against measles. Therefore, the CDC reminded people to take their children who are over a year old to receive an MMR vaccine to prevent possible infection.
The CDC also stated that health departments and doctors should be aware of any possible measles case and report it to authorities as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spreading. In addition, people should also report their travel experiences to the doctor if measles symptoms show up.