On Monday, January 21, South Korean officials reported that 30 cases of measles had been confirmed over the previous month as part of an ongoing outbreak. Regions affected include Daego Gyeongsan (17 cases), Gyeonggi-do (11 cases), Seoul (1 case), and Chonnam (1 case). Further spread of the outbreak is likely over the coming weeks.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.
Symptoms of measles are usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days).
Individuals in or planning travel to South Korea are advised to ensure their vaccinations are up to date and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the abovementioned symptoms should seek medical attention.
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