The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced Thursday this year’s first rubella (German measles) case in a 41-year-old male who resides in northern Taiwan.

Rubella virus/CDC
Rubella virus/CDC

Since the case had not recently traveled overseas, Taiwan CDC determined the case to be an indigenous case. The possible source of infection is still being investigated.

To prevent further transmission of the disease, the health authorities has implemented a number of prevention measures and identified 121 contacts, including his family members, colleagues, and healthcare personnel and patients that he came into contact with when he sought medical attention, to monitor and follow up until February 18. Currently, besides the case’s wife who developed cough, none of the other contacts has developed any suspected symptoms. In addition, rubella infection has been eliminated from the case’s wife.

In 2014, Taiwan reported 7 rubella cases, six which were imported.

Rubella infection in people is typically mild. However, in pregnant women, rubella can cause death or birth defects such as cataracts, deafness, glaucoma, and heart, lung and brain abnormalities in an unborn baby (fetus) during the first few months of pregnancy.

Rubella is a highly contagious disease. People who are infected with rubella are infectious from 1 week before to at least 4 days after the rash appears. It is transmitted through airborne droplet or close contact with the patient, but it is vaccine-preventable.