People between 33 and 50 years most at risk from measles

Local | 25 Mar 2019 10:05 am

A specialist in family medicine has warned that people aged between 33 and 50 years should be the most concerned about the current measles outbreak in Hong Kong, because they may be most at risk of being infected, RTHK reports.

Dr Daniel Chu says this is because vaccination policies between the late 1960s and early 1980s meant many people were left only partially protected against the disease.

Some 20 people have been diagnosed with measles in the SAR in the past few months – that is more than the annual figures over the past five years.

Five of the latest nine patients all work at the airport or in the aviation industry.

But Chu told RTHK's Frances Sit that staying away from Chek Lap Kok would not help people avoid measles.

"All that counts is that you need to have proper immunity. If there's a certain number of patients who are carrying measles and working in the airport, they need to go home, they need to travel, they need to take the MTR, they need to take a bus or taxi. They are going to spread it anyway," Chu said. He advised vaccination.

In November last year, the World Health Organisation warned there has been a resurgence of measles worldwide, with collapsing health systems, complacency and a rise in "fake news" about the vaccine to blame.

In severe cases, the highly contagious disease can lead to complications such as pneumonia, blindness and swelling of the brain.

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