The number of rubella cases in the Macau SAR has climbed to 17 since the start of this year, according to information provided yesterday by the Health Bureau (SSM), with all but one case having been detected in the last two weeks.
After the latest case was recorded Saturday, the SSM has called on all health professionals, health care providers and the wider public who are not yet vaccinated to take the necessary precautions.
In the most recent case, a 29-year-old man from the Philippines, who works at the City of Dreams hotel as non-resident employee, was diagnosed with the rubella virus.
The patient had a fever on April 11 and rashes began to appear on the body, head and face from April 12, and then spread to the limbs. On April 12, he presented at the Kiang Wu Hospital and was referred to the public hospital’s emergency services. On April 13, laboratory test results showed a positive result for rubella.
There have been four recent cases of rubella detected at the City of Dreams hotel, including this latest one.
Rubella is highly contagious and patients may already be affected up to one week before showing visible signs of the virus, such as a rash. The SSM says it is monitoring the health status of people who have had contact with the patient during the onset of the virus.
Late last week, the SSM warned that it expected a slight rise in the number of rubella cases this year. However, it stressed the Macau SAR has sufficient stock of vaccinations to remain on top of the situation.
The vaccine against rubella is the same as that for measles and mumps, the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The SSM recently increased its order of the MMR vaccine to 15,000 doses in response to the measles outbreak in the territory.
In a separate statement, the SSM corrected an earlier, incorrect diagnosis of measles, saying that the 37-year-old Macau resident, an employee at StarWorld Hotel, was found to have rubella after a more thorough analysis.
Accordingly, the SSM revised the number of people diagnosed with measles since the start of the year from 33 to 32. DB