Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reports investigating a measles case in a 23-year-old man with travel history.

Image/CHP screen shot
Image/CHP screen shot

He developed a fever on March 1 and consulted a private doctor on March 3 and March 4. He developed rash on March 4 and sought medical advice on the same day at St Paul’s Hospital, where he was admitted for treatment. His blood sample tested positive for immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies to measles virus upon laboratory testing. He has been in a stable condition and has already been discharged.

Epidemiological investigations revealed that the patient reported to have received a measles vaccination and did not have contact with measles patients during the incubation period. He travelled to Cebu in the Philippines and Tokyo in Japan during the period of communicability. His home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far and have been put under medical surveillance.

A CHP spokesman said that, upon notification of the case, the CHP immediately commenced epidemiological investigations and conducted relevant contact tracing, including the crew members and passengers of the relevant cabins of four concerned flights, as well as people in the private clinic and private hospital which the patient visited.

In Hong Kong, children are given the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 1 year old, followed by a second dose at Primary One under the Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme. The coverage of MMR vaccination in Hong Kong is over 95 per cent at Primary One.

Hong Kong achieved measles elimination in 2016 and the annual reported number of measles cases has remained at a very low level in the past few years. However, measles remains endemic in many places around the world and the incidence levels in these places are much higher than that of Hong Kong.