A measles outbreak at a home for the intellectually disabled has helped push Singapore’s number of known cases for the year to 116, the Health Ministry said yesterday.
Fourteen cases were identified on Monday at the MINDSville@Napiri facility in Hougang, the ministry announced in a statement, while another three cases were discovered at a foreign worker dormitory in Punggol.
At the home, 12 residents and two staff were confirmed to be infected with the disease. Six had to be hospitalized, with one since discharged and regarded as “no longer infectious,” the ministry said. The rest who remain in the hospital were said to be in stable condition, while the others were “promptly isolated and treated.”
As a precautionary measure, residents and staff without proof of immunization were given measles vaccinations, while those who need to attend medical appointments or other activities outside the home will be screened for symptoms before leaving the premises.
At the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, two of the infected workers were from India and one from Bangladesh. All three had to be hospitalized but have since been discharged and are no longer infectious, the ministry said.
Fifty people who were in close contact with them, including all residents living on the same floor, have been identified and given vaccinations.
Last month, eight people from two different foreign worker dormitories were confirmed to have contracted measles. Two of them were from Toh Guan Dormitory and the other from Sungei Tengah Lodge.
Most of the 116 total cases this year, however, have involved locals, with 88 people confirmed to have been stricken. They’re joined by 28 foreign nationals hailing from Bangladesh, Dubai, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The measles seems to be making a comeback in recent years amid a decline in vaccinations, with the US seeing in 2019 its largest outbreak in 25 years.
Closer to home, cases of measles have also seen a spike in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Measles, which has symptoms such as skin rash, cough, and high fever, is highly infectious among individuals who are not vaccinated.
In Singapore, it is compulsory for all children residing in the country to get measles vaccinations even though there are currently no penalties in place for parents who do not vaccinate their children.
More news from the Little Red Dot at Coconuts.co/Singapore.