The Health Bureau (SSM) has concluded its sampling of domestic helpers from the Philippines working in Macau, finding that the rate of immunity to the measles disease is about 94 percent – the same as that of local residents aged 20 years or older.
According to the SSM, the sampling shows that “the level of immunity against measles among non-resident workers and the citizens of Macau is ideal.”
Despite said immunity levels, the possibility of individual cases and collective infections are not excluded, the Bureau warned, although added that the “occurrence of an epidemic is low and hence there are no reasons for concern.”
The results come from a survey of 107 people, which was conducted between April 1 and 6. All the people sampled were women, aged between 23 and 62, while just under half of the subjects were under the age of 40.
The results show that about 87 percent of the sample participants aged 20 to 39 are immunized against measles, while 100 percent of those aged 40 or older have the immunity. The proportion of the Macau resident population that are immune to measles is close to 100 percent for all age groups above the age of 20.
However, although the immunity proportion is very high among the adult population of Macau, “some people in the younger population have a weaker immunity due to the lack of natural infection of the measles virus.”
Existing scientific evidence shows that people with relatively weak immunity can still contract measles, but the symptoms are mild and less likely to be passed on to others.
Last week the SSM said that, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of four Filipino nationals were infected with measles – three of which are imported, while one case was related to the spread of measles in Macau. Meanwhile, more than 20 infected others were not from the Philippines, with the majority of them being from the Macau SAR. DB