If you've been following the news, you'd probably have heard about a measles outbreak in Japan and Taiwan earlier this week. So far, a total of 67 people in Japan were confirmed to have had the disease (as of 20 April) and 22 from Taiwan.
But wait a minute, before you panic and cancel your travel plans, we've rounded up some essential things you definitely need to know about this outbreak ?
1. What is measles?
Measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system and it's a very contagious disease. Some of the symptoms include high fever, running nose, dry hacking cough and even watery eyes. Although it's not harmful to adults, measles can be deadly to infants and children!
2. Is it still safe to travel to Japan and Taiwan?
We're pretty sure many of you will be travelling to Japan and Taiwan in the coming weeks, and wondering if you should cancel your trip. Well, if you're not travelling to Okinawa in Japan or Kaohsiung in Taiwan, chances are you don't have to change your travel plans! Although a hospital in Taipei had a major outbreak, the situation is now contained so you don't have to worry ? But of course, it's still best to check with the local health authorities before you go on your trip.
3. Are YOU safe from measles?
Now, the next thing you might be wondering about is whether you're safe from measles. If you've had the MMR vaccine when you were a kid, you'd most likely have developed immunity to the disease. So if you're heading to Japan or Taiwan soon, better to check those health records first!
4. What should you do if you're travelling to Taiwan and Japan soon?
Although the situation is under control and only affects a small part of both Japan and Taiwan, it's still best to take some precautions. If you haven't been vaccinated from measles, you should head to your local clinic and get it done. Japan's health ministry has also informed the public to get vaccinated if they haven't!
Of course, as with any other viral infections, do keep good hygiene habits and cleanliness to prevent yourself from getting the disease. Also, remember to check updates from the local health authorities before you travel.
We hope we've given you a complete picture of the current measles outbreak so if you're planning on travelling to Japan and Taiwan soon, take the necessary precautions, stay safe and enjoy your vacation ☺️