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CHP warns of global spread of measles

03 March 2024

Telltale signs of measles are rashes all over the body (CDC photo)

The Centre for Health Protection has issued a warning against measles, after a 22-year-old local man who had visited Malaysia, was diagnosed with the viral disease.

But earlier, two other measles cases were detected in Hong Kong, and both patients, an 11-month-old baby boy and a three-year-old boy, had not been out of the city during the incubation period.

The CHP warned that there has a been surge in measles infection lately, with more than 300,000 cases being reported globally last year, up a massive 80 percent from 2022.

Buksan ang mga tip

Low vaccination rate in Asian and European countries after the pandemic appear to account for the upsurge in measles cases.

One of those grappling with a surge in cases is the United Kingdom, which lost the measles-free status it acquired in 2017 only two years later, just before the pandemic.

Last month, the UK Health Security Agency declared that the country is in the midst of a measles emergency after hundreds of children had contracted measles, especially in the West Midlands.


Officials fear the outbreak could spread to other towns and cities unless urgent action is taken to boost the vaccination rate.

To keep the measles at bay, officials have sent letters to parents of unvaccinated children to urge them to go for the shots.

Currently, only about 85% of susceptible children under 16 years old are vaccinated, when a 95% coverage is needed to guard against the disease.


HK’s CHP is also urging people who have not been infected or jabbed to get inoculated, whatever their age. It is also advising parents with kids under one who are not due for the first dose of the vaccine to  avoid travelling to places where there are outbreaks.

Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease capable of causing epidemics. It remains as one of the leading causes of death among children globally.

The measles virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body. Symptoms include high fever, runny rose and a rash all over the body. 


Immunisation has dramatically reduced the incidence of measles worldwide, but frequent outbreaks continue, especially in Europe and Asia.

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