CHP investigates local measles infection case

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (July 15) investigating a case of measles infection and reminded the public that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles.

     The case involves a 36-year-old man with good past health, who has developed a fever, headache and malaise since June 14 and rash on June 22. He attended the accident and emergency departments of the Caritas Medical Centre and Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH) on June 27 and June 29 respectively for medical attention. He was admitted to KWH for treatment on June 30. He is in a stable condition and was discharged against medical advice on July 2.

     His blood sample tested positive for immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies to measles virus upon laboratory testing. The patient is reported to have received a measles vaccination. He had no travel history during the incubation period and the communicable period.

     According to the patient, he did not have contact with measles patients during the incubation period.

     Upon notification of the case, the CHP immediately commenced epidemiological investigations and conducted relevant contact tracing. Investigations are ongoing.

     A spokesman for the DH said, "Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by the measles virus. It can be transmitted by airborne droplets or direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons, and, less commonly, by articles soiled with nose and throat secretions. A patient can pass the disease to other persons from four days before to four days after the appearance of a skin rash.

     "The incubation period (the period from infection to appearance of illness) of measles ranges from seven days to 21 days. Symptoms of measles include fever, skin rash, cough, runny nose and red eyes. If symptoms arise, members of the public should wear surgical masks, stop going to work or school and avoid going to crowded places. They should also avoid contact with non-immune persons, especially persons with weakened immunity, pregnant women and children aged below 1. Those suspected to have been infected are advised to seek medical attention as early as possible and reveal relevant contact history of measles to healthcare professionals," the spokesman advised. 

     "Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles. Those who have not received two doses of measles-containing vaccines, with unknown vaccination history or unknown immunity against measles, are urged to consult their doctor for advice on vaccinations," the spokesman said.

     Besides being vaccinated against measles, members of the public should take the following measures to prevent infection:
  • Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene;
  • Maintain good indoor ventilation;
  • Keep hands clean and wash hands properly;
  • Wash hands when they are dirtied by respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing;
  • Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal and mouth discharge properly;
  • Clean used toys and furniture properly; and
  • Persons with measles should be kept out of school till four days from the appearance of a rash to prevent the spread of the infection to non-immune persons in school.

     For more information on measles, the public may call the 24-hour health education hotline 2833 0111 or visit the CHP's measles thematic page. For news of measles outbreaks outside Hong Kong, please visit the website of the DH's Travel Health Service.

Ends/Friday, July 15, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:15