The Hong Kong Center for Health Protection (CHP) confirmed three measles cases in January among three Filipino women who had travelled to the Philippines during the incubation period, the time between initial infection and the appearance of symptoms.
The three women were aged between 38 and 40 and their measles-vaccination status was unknown, according to Communicable Diseases Watch, a report released by the CHP.
All three patients stayed in different parts of the Philippines at different times last month. They developed fever, headache, cough and rash. No direct epidemiological linkage among the three cases could be identified.
They required hospitalization and were discharged after treatment. Their condition was stable.
The workers’ household contacts exhibited no symptoms of measles and the CHP did not identify further cases.
Hong Kong doctors have said that residents should not be too worried as a high take-up rate of measles vaccination in the city has reduced the risk of an outbreak.
The CHP advised all domestic workers not immune to measles to get an MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination, preferably before they arrive in Hong Kong. If this is not possible, they should consult a doctor after they have arrived in the city.
Joan Tsui Hiu-tung, convener of the Support Group for Hong Kong Employers, advised employers to arrange vaccinations for their workers before they go home to the Philippines for holidays, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported.
Employers should also request that domestic workers wear a face mask for a few days after returning to Hong Kong if they need to take care of young children.