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CHP investigates imported case of measles infection

HK

CHP investigates imported case of measles infection
HK

HK

CHP investigates imported case of measles infection

2024-05-14 22:05 Last Updated At:05-15 00:23

Chp on high alert as imported measles case sparks investigation

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (May 14) investigating an imported case of measles infection and reminded the public that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles, and people born outside Hong Kong who might not have received a measles vaccination during childhood should review their vaccination history.

The case involves an 11-month-old girl with good past health. She developed fever, cough and runny nose since May 7, and rash since the following day. She was brought to the Accident and Emergency Department of Pok Oi Hospital on May 9 and admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on May 10 for treatment. Her respiratory specimen sample tested positive for the measles virus upon nucleic acid testing. She is now in stable condition and is still hospitalised. Her two household contacts remained asymptomatic.

An epidemiological investigation revealed that the patient was born outside Hong Kong and did not receive measles vaccinations in her home country. She lived overseas during the incubation period and arrived in Hong Kong on April 23. The patient did not have contact with measles patients in Hong Kong. The case has been identified as an imported case. During the communicable period, the patient had visited the Immigration and Registration of Persons - Yuen Long Office (Yuen Long Office) located on Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long, between around 10am and 11.30am on May 6. The CHP will conduct medical surveillance on about 40 staff of the concerned office.

As measles is highly infectious, the CHP has set up an enquiry hotline (2125 2374) for contact tracing of the case. The CHP appealed to the persons who visited the Yuen Long Officelocated on Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long, between 10am and 11.30am on May 6 to call the hotline. Officers of the CHP will assess their conditions and offer suggestions. The hotline will operate from 9am to 1pm tomorrow (May 15), and from 9am to 5.30pm starting from May 16, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Investigations are ongoing.

"The global immunisation coverage rates have dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries worldwide are facing a resurgence of measles outbreaks. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of measles cases had risen worldwide to over 300 000 cases reported in 2023, a roughly 80 per cent increase from 2022. The Western Pacific region recorded a total of about 5 000 cases in 2023, which representedmore thana 2.5 timeswhen compared with 2022, with persistent transmission found in the Philippines and Malaysia. In view of the continuous increase in measles cases, the WHO has urged parents to bring their children to get vaccinated as early as possible to prevent measles from spreading," a spokesman for the DH said.

The CHP reiterated that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles. During the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years, parents, schools and healthcare workers in Hong Kong continued to support childhood immunisations, striving to maintain the immunisation coverage rates at a high level. As revealed by the vaccination uptake of primary school students and the findings of the territory-wide immunisation surveys regularly conducted by the DH, the two-dose measles vaccination coverage has been consistently maintained at a high level, well above 95 per cent, and the local seroprevalence rates of measles virus antibodies reflect that most of the people in Hong Kong are immune to measles. On the whole, the information available indicates that the risk of large-scale outbreak is considered to be low in Hong Kong. However, it is possible for some not fully vaccinated people to get infected and transmit the measles virus to susceptible people (including children aged below 1 who are not due for the first dose of measles vaccine).

The spokesman reminded members of the public that delays in vaccination will weaken the protection for children against measles, and parents are reminded to maintain up-to-date vaccination for their children for comprehensive and timely protection. All people who are non-immune to measles, especially foreign domestic helpers, people working or studying in tertiary institutions, and workers of sea/land/air border control points who may be at a higher risk of contacting an imported case, should receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine. In general, people can be considered as non-immune to measles if they (i) did not have the infection confirmed by laboratory test before, and (ii) had not received two doses of measles-containing vaccines in the past, or have unknown vaccination status or unknown immunity against measles. On the other hand, as measles was endemic in Hong Kong and most parts of the world before 1967, people born before 1967 are considered to have acquired immunity to measles through natural infection.

The spokesman supplemented that, members of the public who are planning to travel to places with a high incidence or outbreaks of measles should review their vaccination history and past medical history, especially people born outside Hong Kong who might not have received a measles vaccination during childhood. 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 at least two weeks before departure.

The spokesman advised, "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."

Besides being vaccinated against measles, members of the public should take the following measures to prevent infection:

For more information on measles, the public may visit the CHP'smeasles thematic page. Members of the public who are going to travel can visit the website of the DH'sTravel Health Servicefor news of measles outbreaks outside Hong Kong.

Source: AI-generated images

Source: AI-generated images

Temporary joyyou card application service centers open to assist elderly hong kong residents with public transport fare concession scheme transition

The Government announced today (June 20) that to assist Hong Kong residents aged 60 or above in applying for JoyYou Cards so that they can continue to enjoy the Government Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities ($2 Scheme), eight temporary JoyYou Card application service centreson Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and the New Territories will commence operation from next Monday (June 24).

From August 25 this year, all Hong Kong residents aged 60 or above must use a JoyYou Card to enjoy the $2 Scheme. Existing Anonymous Elder Octopus and ordinary Personalised Octopus will no longer be applicable. As for eligible persons with disabilities aged below 60, they can continue to enjoy the $2 Scheme using the Personalised Octopus encoded with "Persons with Disabilities Status" and need not apply for a JoyYou Card.

To assist persons in need in submitting applications or supplementary information as soon as possible, Octopus Cards Limited (OCL) will set up the following eight temporary JoyYou Card application service centres from next Monday until August 31 (see Annex for location maps):

  • Conference Room, 2/F, Kennedy Town Community Complex (12 Rock Hill Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong);
  • Conference Room, G/F, Leighton Hill Community Hall (133 Wong Nai Chung Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong);
  • Room 210, 2/F, Wong Tai Sin Community Centre (104 Ching Tak Street, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon);
  • Conference Room, Mong Kok Community Hall, L2, Mong Kok Complex (557 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon);
  • Conference Room, G/F, Tai Yuen Community Hall (Tai Yuen Estate, Tai Po, New Territories);
  • Conference Room, 4/F, North District Community Centre (2 Lung Wan Street, Sheung Shui, New Territories);
  • Activity Room, G/F, Kwai Fong Community Hall (2 Lai Fong Street, Kwai Chung, New Territories); and
  • Conference Room, G/F, Long Ping Community Hall (Long Ping Estate, Yuen Long, New Territories).
  • The opening hours of these service centres will be 9am to 8pm from Mondays to Fridays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. They will be closed on Sundays and public holidays. Members of the public who need assistance in applying for a JoyYou Card may visit these service centres during opening hours.

    In addition, the Government has stepped up publicity to remind eligible persons to apply for JoyYou Cards as soon as possible, and has made good use of district and service networks to provide assistance to eligible persons with disabilities and elderly persons to make an application.

    OCL will send out a JoyYou Card to an eligible applicant within four weeks upon receipt of a duly completed application. Applicants who have not received their JoyYou Cards four weeks after completing the application may call the hotline at 3147 1388 (press 0 after choosing the language to contact operators directly). For applications with incomplete information, OCL will also issue SMS or letters to the applicants concerned for follow-up. Applicants who received relevant SMS or letters should submit the supplementary information as soon as possible. Otherwise, their applications will not be processed further.

    Furthermore, eligible beneficiaries who have not yet applied for a JoyYou Card could also submit their applications by post or via the Octopus App to OCL. Members of the public may visit the JoyYou Card webpage (www.octopus.com.hk/joyyou/en) for videos illustrating steps for making an application and distribution points for paper application forms (with a postage-free return envelope).

    A JoyYou Card carries a personal photo and the name of the eligible beneficiary as proof of eligibility for enjoying the $2 Scheme. Each eligible person will be issued with one card only. The Government accepted JoyYou Card applications from Hong Kong residents aged 65 or above (born in 1956 or before) in batches from June 1, 2022. Some 1.3 million applications, equivalent to around 92 per cent of estimated eligible applicants, have been received to date.

    Source: AI-generated images

    Source: AI-generated images

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