Second indigenous case of German measles reported in Taiwan

TAIPEI (CNA) – Another Taiwanese has been confirmed to be infected with German measles and has become the second indigenous case of the disease in Taiwan this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday.

The patient, a woman in her 30s who lives in northern Taiwan, displayed such symptoms as coughing, joint pain and rashes between March 11 and March 18, and she later sought medical attention on the 19th.

On Friday, she was confirmed to have contracted German measles, also known as rubella.

According to the CDC, her illness was believed to have been caught from a male patient because they shared similar activity patterns in the past week.

CDC Deputy Director-General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said both attended an international poker tournament held in Taipei’s Songshan District from March 12 to 17.

The two might have come into contact with one another at the event, Lo speculated. The two patients had not been out of the country in recent months.

The male patient, also in his 30s, was confirmed as being the first patient in Taiwan to have contracted an indigenous case of German measles on March 14, he said.

The woman remains quarantined at home, according to the CDC.

To date, 38 people believed to have had contact with the female patient, including her family and colleagues, have been tracked down. Efforts to locate others who had contact with her will continue until April 15.

According to the CDC, the poker association that organized the event has also sent out messages to roughly 1,000 other members, cautioning them to monitor their own health for possible symptoms just in case they were also at the tournament during the same period.

Lo alerted people who were around the places the patient visited to beware of possible exposure to the measles virus, and urged them to carefully monitor their health for 21 days.

According to CDC data, Taiwan has so far reported six cases of German measles this year, of which two were contracted at home and four abroad.

There were 24 cases of German measles in Taiwan from 2015 to 2018, 18 of which were imported.

By Chen Wei-ting and Ko Lin