An Overview of Measles Epidemic, Taiwan,January–May, 2019

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.201906_35(11).0001

Shu-Kuan Lai1*, Fu-Tien Lin2*, Chiu-Mei Chen1, En-Tzu Wang2,Ding-Ping Liu1, Chin-Hui Yang2

2019 Vol.35 NO.11

Correspondence Author: Shu-Kuan Lai1*, Fu-Tien Lin2*

  • 1Epidemic Intelligence Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Division of Acute Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


      As measles epidemics have become more severe in Southeast Asian countries since December 2018, the number of imported measles cases has gradually increased in Taiwan, leading to subsequent indigenous clusters in communities. As of May 8, 30 imported and 60 indigenous measles cases were confirmed. Among them, 69 cases (77%) were in 20–39 age group, and 62 cases (70%) were classified as cluster cases. Those clusters not only occurred in healthcare facilities, but also in restaurants, workplaces and households. This indicated that measles virus may easily spread in densely susceptible populations, especially among those born after 1981. Because the protective antibodies derived from vaccination might wane gradually, the risk of measles infections in young adults is increasing regardless international travel history. We suggested that the recommendation and promotion of MMR vaccination for high-risk groups should be strengthened, and young adults should be encouraged to test for measles antibody. Those with negative tests for measles antibody should receive one dose of MMR vaccine in order to improve the immunity.