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Public urged to heighten vigilance for rubella as Taiwan CDC confirms indigenous case in man and investigates possible sources of infection( 2017-09-01 )

Public urged to heighten vigilance for rubella as Taiwan CDC confirms indigenous case in man and investigates possible sources of infection

On September 1, 2017, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced 1 new rubella case. The case is a 31-year-old male who resides in northern Taiwan. He works at a sales clerk at a clothing store in Ximending, Taipei City. On August 23, he developed swollen lymph nodes on his neck. On August 27 and 29, he respectively developed rash and conjunctivitis. On August 30, he sought medical attention at a hospital. 3Infection with rubella was confirmed in the case after the hospital reported the patient as a suspected case to the health authority. As of now, the case is being asked to conduct self-health management and home quarantine. Since the case had not traveled overseas during the exposure period, it was determined the case is an indigenous case. Possible sources of investigation are still being investigated.

During the infectious period, the case only visited his workplace and the hospital. To prevent further transmission of the disease, the local health authority has implemented a number of prevention measures and identified 78 contacts, including his family members, coworkers, and healthcare personnel and patients that he came into contact with when he sought medical attention, to monitor and follow up until September 24. Currently, none of the contacts has developed any suspected symptoms. Simultaneously, people who visited Ximending, Taipei City during August 20 and 30, 2017 are urged to conduct self-health management for 21 days (since the last day of potential exposure). If suspected symptoms develop, please put on a mask immediately, seek prompt medical attention and voluntarily notify the physician of the relevant exposure history.

Thus far this year, as of August 31, 2017, a total of 3 rubella cases, including 2 imported cases (one from China and one from the Philippines) and 1 indigenous case, have been confirmed. Last year, a total of 4 rubella cases, including 3 imported cases (one from India, one from Hong Kong, and one from China) and 1 indigenous case, were confirmed.

95% of the citizens in Taiwan have had the infection or been vaccinated against the disease and most infected individuals experience mild symptoms. However, if a pregnant woman who has no rubella antibodies becomes infected with rubella during early pregnancy, there is a chance she will pass the infection to her unborn child and a chance that the child will develop congenital rubella syndrome, resulting in fetal death, miscarriage or birth defects such as deafness, glaucoma, cataract, microcephaly, intellectual disability, heart disease and even death. Hence, women of child-bearing age who are tested negative for rubella antibody during the pre-marital medical examination can receive a free dose of MMR vaccine when presenting the negative rubella antibody result at the local health station or a contracted hospital.  

Taiwan CDC reminds travelers visiting affected areas to heighten vigilance, pay attention to personal hygiene, wash hands frequently, avoid touching mouth and nose, and wearing a mask while visiting crowded places. If symptoms pertaining to rubella infection such as fever, fatigue, nasopharyngitis and obviously swollen lymph nodes behind the ears develop and are accompanied by generalized irregular papules, joint pain or arthritis, please put on a mask, seek immediate medical attention, and voluntarily inform the physician of relevant travel and exposure history. For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Care Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922). 

  • Last modified at 2017-10-03
  • Data from Division of Planning and Coordination