Taiwan flight attendant is country's 2nd rubella case; contact tracing ongoing - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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A China Airlines female flight attendant who contracted the viral disease, rubella, or German measles had worked on six different flights during her period of communicability, according to Taiwanese health authorities.

China Airlines Public domain image/ouyangjianf1

China Airlines
Public domain image/ouyangjianf1

Last week on Mar. 14, the woman from northern Taiwan developed symptoms of the infection to include fever, runny nose, cough and rash. On the following day, she sought medical attention at a medical center. On March 18, rubella infection was confirmed.

Prior to her disease onset, she had traveled to Vietnam, Indonesia and Hong Kong. As a result, the Taiwan CDC has determined her to be an imported case and the 2nd confirmed rubella case in Taiwan this year.

Related: Taiwan reports year’s first indigenous rubella case

According to health officials, she worked on six different flights, including flights CI116 and CI117 that traveled to and from Taoyuan and Fukuoka on March 8, flights CI110 and CI111 that traveled to and from Taoyuan and Fukuoka on March 10 and 11, and flights CI753 and 754 that traveled to and from Taoyuan and Singapore on March 13 and 14.

Contact tracing has identified 686 contacts, including her family members, her fellow crew members, passengers on the same flights, healthcare personnel and patients that she came into contact with when she sought medical attention, to monitor and follow up until April 11.

German measles

The young boy pictured here, displayed the characteristic maculopapular rash indicative of rubella, otherwise known as German measles. CDC

Passengers on the flights are urged to contact their local health officials and to be aware of rubella symptoms and monitoring their health for the next 21 days. Pregnant women who took the same flight are urged to seek medical attention to determine the need for treatment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  Rubella, sometimes called German measles or three-day measles, is a contagious disease caused by a virus. The infection is usually mild with fever and rash. It is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.

While symptoms of rubella are typically mild- a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body, low fever and body aches, if a pregnant woman gets rubella virus, her baby could have birth defects such as deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental disabilities, and organ damage. The health problems due to the infection are called congenital rubella syndrome.

 

5 Comments

  1. Kimberly says:

    This article is not entirely correct. A pregnant woman who contracts Rubella in her first trimester of pregnancy ( first three months) will have a child with CRS Congenital Rubella Syndrome. The 4 major birth defects are Blindness, deafness, heart defects and mental disabilities. I have CRS,I am more than 60% both blind and deaf, with a serious heart defect. My mind, though is intact. Others with the syndrome, have varying degrees of disabilities, based on when they were exposed and what organs were affected. Please make this as serious as it is, not trivialize it. Those of us living with CRS deserve better than that from the press and people need to know how serious this really is. Thank you.

  2. Pamela Ryan says:

    Kimberly is absolutely right….Rubella is fairly mild to the person with it, but the implications for pregnant women is very dangerous.

  3. Carrie says:

    Robert,

    You covered the dangers were not explicit as to how dangerous the rubella virus is to the developing fetus. My step-daughter is totally deaf, legally blind and functions at about an 8 year old level. She also has OCD and other issues due to the rubella during her mother’s first trimester. The birth defects vary depending on the time of contraction (as Kimberly stated). The risk is high and scares me, because services in the US for the dual sensory impaired are scattered and most agencies that deal with the developmentally disabled don’t adapt to the dual sensory.

    The US does not need another outbreak like in 1964.

  4. […] Related: Taiwan flight attendant is country’s 2nd rubella case; contact tracing ongoing […]

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