Wed, Apr 08, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Health body confirms year’s first death to enterovirus

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed the first death from enterovirus this year, and officials warned the disease would probably peak in the middle of June.

“We are expecting the peak sometime in the middle of June. But in the meantime we will do whatever we can to reduce the total number of enterovirus cases,” CDC deputy director Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said.

Shih made his remarks during a press conference at the Department of Health yesterday afternoon.

A 29-month-old boy in Yunlin County died from the enterovirus on Sunday, making him the first victim this year.

Shih said that the child was sent to hospital on March 31 after displaying symptoms of enterovirus, but his condition deteriorated last Wednesday and he eventually succumbed to heart failure on Sunday.

CDC officials said the baby may have contracted the illness from his brother, who began to show symptoms on March 28.

The boy is still in hospital, but his condition is stable.

Shih said the dead boy’s brother attended kindergarten in Chiayi City. The kindergarten had requested children not to attend class if they felt sick.

No other cases have been found at the kindergarten, Shih said.

The deputy director said there would be no weather-related break in enterovirus cases in Taiwan.

“Many people believe there is no enterovirus in winter. This is inaccurate,” Shih said. “One baby died of enterovirus in December 2007.

Shih said he did not expect this year’s outbreak to be as bad as last year’s.

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