The Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong on Monday confirmed that a 41-year-old Hong Kong man was infected with measles, bringing the total number of cases in Hong Kong to 12 in the first quarter of this year.

The patient, whose recent health had been good, developed fever and a rash on March 11 and consulted a private doctor before being admitted to Prince Margaret Hospital on March 14, according to a government release.

The patient tested positive for immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies to the measles virus. He was in a stable condition and has since been discharged.

The patient had not been vaccinated against measles and did not have contact with measles patients during the illness’s incubation period. Nor had he been traveling during the period of communicability.

His immediate family and contacts, who have so far remained asymptomatic, have been put under medical observation.

Investigations are ongoing and relevant contact tracing has been conducted, including the man’s workplace at Hang Seng Tsim Sha Tsui Building in Kowloon and Town Health Medical Centre in Lei Muk Shu Shopping Center in Kwai Chung, the New Territories.

Figures from the CHP showed that at least 12 confirmed measles cases were recorded in the first three months of this year, compared to four cases recorded in all of 2017 and 15 cases in 2018, Apple Daily reported.

Seven people are suspected to have imported cases from the Philippines, mainland China and Japan.

A CHP spokesperson 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.

A patient can pass the disease to other persons from four days before to four days after the appearance of the measles skin rash.

They reminded the public that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles.