A pregnant staff member at StarWorld casino has been diagnosed with rubella, a disease also known as German measles, Macau’s Health Bureau said on Saturday.
In a written announcement, the Health Bureau said the case had been detected on Friday. The bureau added it had ordered its medical staff to monitor closely the health of the woman and those in Macau who had come in close contact with her during the disease’s incubation period.
The worker with rubella – who is 14 weeks pregnant – reportedly was not vaccinated against the disease, added the document.
Rubella is a disease preventable by vaccination, according to the World Health Organization. Complications linked to the disease include the risk of miscarriage or foetal abnormality for women who contract it in the early stages of a pregnancy.
StarWorld (pictured) is operated by Macau-based casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. More cases of rubella had been detected at the Macau peninsula property in April, according to previous releases from Macau’s Health Bureau. Several cases of rubella were also detected at Galaxy Entertainment’s Galaxy Macau casino resort in May.
Other local gaming properties to have confirmed cases of rubella since the start of April include MGM Macau and City of Dreams. MGM Macau, located on Macau peninsula, is run by MGM China Holdings Ltd. City of Dreams, in Cotai, is operated by Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
Cases of rubella were also detected at casino hotel Golden Dragon, according to the Health Bureau. The property is managed by Golden Dragon Group Co Ltd. The casino within the venue is run under the gaming rights of SJM Holdings Ltd.
A number of cases of rubella also had been confirmed at the casino within the New Orient Landmark Hotel – a property also using the SJM Holdings licence – on the Macau peninsula.
Macau had an aggregate of 50 rubella cases reported citywide between April and May, according to Saturday’s release by the Macau Health Bureau. The majority involved people working at casino properties. The bureau said in mid-May there was no rubella outbreak in the city’s casino resorts, despite an increase in the number of cases registered so far this year.
On April 16, a Macau gaming labour activist group delivered a letter to the city’s Labour Affairs Bureau to “reflect concerns” it had regarding the number of rubella infection cases reported this year among casino staff.
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"There’s a huge amount of possibilities out there and in the case of Macau, it seems that some of these issues should be considered or we may lose the epithet of gambling capital of the world"
Macau-based lawyer and senior partner at law firm Rato, Ling, Lei and Cortés