A total of nine people in Daegu have been diagnosed with measles as of Thursday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. To prevent the disease from spreading nationwide, the government plans carry out an epidemiological investigation while urging people to get vaccinated against measles.
According to the KCDC, the first patient was diagnosed with measles on Dec. 17 in Daegu. The disease soon spread among infants, young children and health care workers.
Five of the nine patients have been released from the hospital, with the remaining four in isolation. The health authorities in Daegu have been conducting an epidemiological investigation and tracing people who had contact with the patients.
As infants and young children are especially susceptible to infection, the government urged vaccination of children. Infants should receive their first MMR vaccine at between 12 months and 15 months of age with the second vaccination at between age 4 to 6.
People who travel China, Thailand, the Philippines and countries in Europe should check whether they received the two MMR vaccinations, as measles has been spreading in those places recently.
If not, the travelers should get the two vaccinations four or six weeks before the departure. Infants 6 months to 11 months should get the MMR vaccine if visiting those countries.
To prevent infection, travelers are advised to wash their hands and follow proper hygiene measures. Those showing measles symptoms about a week to three weeks after their travel should call KCDC at 1399 and visit medical centers.
Measles is a highly contagious disease accompanied by high fever and a rash all over the body. The airborne disease can spread by coughs or sneezes.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)