A 32-year-old local woman who is 14 weeks pregnant and works at StarWorld Hotel has been infected with the rubella virus, Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement on Saturday.
Rubella is also known as German measles.
According to the statement, the woman, who lives in Zhuhai, had a rash on her chest and a sore throat on Thursday evening and went to the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre on Friday morning after the rash had spread to other parts of her body, and was diagnosed with rubella later that day.
The statement said that during the incubation period, the woman had been to Hong Kong.
The woman was born in Macau but lived and studied on the mainland until 2012 when she returned to Macau for work, even though she lives in the neighbouring city. She’s never had rubella vaccinations. Family members living with her have not shown any symptoms of the virus.
The statement pointed out that the bureau already knew the woman does not have rubella immunity from her previous prenatal check-up at the bureau, adding that the bureau would closely monitor her health condition, and those who had been in contact with her when she became ill.
The statement said that women who are not immune to rubella and are infected at 16 weeks pregnant are at risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, and their developing babies are at risk of having severe birth defects with lifelong consequences.
According to the statement, women who were born in Macau after 1975 and completed primary school education in the city have all received rubella vaccinations, adding that since 2001, the bureau has been providing women, who had not been vaccinated before and those who have reached child-bearing age, MMR vaccinations free of charge.
The statement pointed out that the rubella situation is quite serious in neighbouring regions, and the number of patients in Macau is quite high – 29 patients in April and 21 in May – the majority of whom were born outside of Macau.
According to the statement, none of the cases involved a patient who was born locally after 1975 and had completed primary school education in Macau.(Macaunews)