More Gucci store staff infected in Hong Kong measles outbreak
Two more staff of a Gucci store in Kowloon have been caught up in the Hong Kong measles outbreak.
In a statement released late Tuesday, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health confirmed a 27-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man have been diagnosed with the disease. Both reported to a hospital emergency department on Monday and are being treated.
This follows yesterday’s news that three staff, two women aged 25 and one male aged 31 are recovering in hospital.
The CHP has urged anyone who may have had contact with the patients during the three-week period of incubation to seek medical attention immediately if they notice symptoms such as a rash or fever.
Since the first cases were diagnosed at the Gucci store at Harbour City on Canton Road, mall management closed the store for disinfecting. Yesterday, CHP staff vaccinated 143 workers and affiliates of the shop.
“Upon notification of the cases, the CHP immediately commenced epidemiological investigations and conducted relevant contact tracing,” a CHP spokesman said in a statement. “Investigations are ongoing.”
The CHP listed places visited by the infected people: They are Shop G124-125A & G220 at Harbour City, the MediNet Health Centre at Ocean City and Hong Kong Disneyland Fantasy Road Outdoor Venue. The list of times the various patients were at those locations can be read here.
“Those who might have had contact with the patients during the period of communicability are urged to observe if they have developed measles-related symptoms, and to seek medical treatment immediately if such symptoms appear,” the spokesman said.
“If they need to visit any health-care facilities during the period of medical surveillance, they should also report whether they have symptoms and prior measles exposure history to the healthcare workers so that appropriate infection control measures can be implemented at the concerned healthcare facilities to prevent any potential spread.”
The spokesman explained that measles is a highly infectious disease caused by the measles virus. It can be transmitted by airborne droplets spread or direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons, and, less commonly, by articles soiled with nose and throat secretions. A patient can pass the disease to other persons from four days before to four days after the appearance of skin rash.
“The incubation period (the period from infection to appearance of illness) of measles ranges from seven days to 21 days. Symptoms of measles include fever, skin rash, cough, runny nose and red eyes. If symptoms arise, members of the public should wear surgical masks, stop going to work or school and avoid going to crowded places. They should also avoid contact with non-immune persons, especially persons with weakened immunity, pregnant women and children aged below one. Those suspected to have been infected are advised to seek medical attention as early as possible and reveal relevant contact history of measles to healthcare professionals,” the spokesman advised.
Meanwhile, CHP staff continue to administer vaccinations at Hong Kong International Airport, the apparent epicentre of the outbreak where 29 workers have been diagnosed this year.
Eighteen people received measles vaccination at the airport vaccination station as at 6pm yesterday, taking the cumulative number to 8414.
From today (May 15) to May 17, measles vaccinations will be provided to airport staff who were born during or after 1967, have not received two doses of measles vaccination, and have not been infected with measles before; or who have laboratory evidence of testing not positive against measles antibody (IgG).
The vaccination quota for the measles vaccination station at the airport remains at 600 doses daily.
The Hong Kong measles outbreak has so far affected at least 75 so far this year, a huge increase on the full-year tally of just 15 last year.