The government has reassured the public that measles will not be prevalent in Macau.
Lam Chong, who heads the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of the Health Bureau (SSM), made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Saturday on the sidelines of a campaign to raise residents’ awareness of the prevention of dengue and Zika that took place outside Flower City Garden in Taipa.
Lam’s remarks came after his bureau confirmed on Friday the case of a local woman who had travelled to Singapore and Malaysia last month and had contracted measles. The bureau classified the case, the first measles case in Macau this year, as an imported case.
According to an SSM statement on Friday, the 47-year-old woman visited the two South East Asian countries in a tour group from April 20 to 25. The woman, who started to come down with measles symptoms on May 5, went to a local clinic on that day and another clinic on May 7 for treatment.
According to the statement, on Friday the bureau could still not confirm whether the woman, who was born in Guangdong province, had ever been vaccinated against measles.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Lam said he did not exclude the possibility for the occurrence of other measles cases in Macau.
Lam was quick to add that over 95 percent of local residents are immune to measles. He said that therefore the occurrence of isolated measles cases – regardless of local cases or imported cases – would not lead to the prevalence of measles in Macau.
In addition to Japan and Taiwan, Lam reminded residents that measles are prevalent in many South East Asian and European countries. He urged parents not to take their offspring who have not had a measles shot to these countries and regions.