A five-month-old boy in Greater Tainan died of enterovirus 71 this week, making him the first in the country to succumb to the contagious disease this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
The boy was treated for enterovirus 71 after being admitted to a hospital on June 11, but his condition quickly deteriorated and he died on Thursday, according to a CDC press statement.
Lab results confirmed that the infant had died of the virulent disease, but no one else in his family was infected, the statement said.
The CDC also confirmed seven other new enterovirus cases, all of which were in children aged between eight months and four years. They were all discharged from hospital after treatment.
“This is the most serious enterovirus situation in Taiwan since 2008,” Deputy Health Minister Lin Tzou-yien said (林奏延).
Citing department statistics, Lin said that while there were only 59 serious cases of enterovirus last year, 78 patients have already contracted the disease this year.
The last peak occured in 2008, with 373 serious cases, including 14 deaths reported, he added.
Lin reminded parents with children aged 5 and under to instill a strict and frequent hand-washing regime and to seek immediate medical attention should their children show any symptoms.