Hong Kong International Airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At least six more measles cases were confirmed in Hong Kong on Tuesday, including one customs officer and three others working at Hong Kong International Airport.

The newly added cases take the total number of cases in only the first three months of this year to 26, the highest since 2015, news website HK01.com reported.

The Centre for Health Protection said five new cases including two airport security guards aged 23 and 25 from the same security management company and a 41-year-old saleswoman working in an airport shop.

Separately, a 43-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man, who was born outside Hong Kong, were infected.

Meanwhile, the Customs and Excise Department confirmed on Tuesday night that a 33-year-old officer working at the airport was infected with the measles virus and was in a stable condition in hospital.

Wong Ka-hing, the Centre for Health Protection’s controller, anticipated more cases from aviation-related workers as the incubation period for measles is quite long.

He added that apart from two 11-month-old babies, all other patients so far are adults, with half of them born outside Hong Kong.

Experts called on the public not to panic in the face of a measles outbreak, saying that there is no urgent need for citizens to get vaccinations unless they fall into high-risk groups.

Meanwhile, Teresa Liu Tsui-lan, managing director of Technic Employment Service Centre Ltd. said the employment agency had received five calls from employers expressing concern over newly-hired Filipino domestic workers as they have babies or pregnant woman at home, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Liu said the company could help arrange for workers to be vaccinated in the Philippines and extend their stay for two weeks before coming to Hong Kong.

It takes 14 days after vaccination for the development of immunity against measles.

Employers have to bear the cost of about HK$250 (US$32) per vaccination, plus the fee for changing the departure date of the air ticket. Liu also advised employers to discuss visits to the Philippines with their employees.

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