Sat, Jul 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Ninth encephalitis case confirmed

ENTEROVIRUS:The CDC also advised families with kids under five to be on alert against enterovirus infection, as a newborn is reported to be in critical condition

Staff writer, with CNA

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed the year’s ninth case of Japanese encephalitis and reminded the public to be on guard against the mosquito-borne disease.

The most recent case is a 66-year-old woman from Pingtung County. She is recovering after being taken to hospital on June 30.

Of the nine cases confirmed so far, all were over 40 years old, with two each in Changhua County, Chiayi and Greater Tainan, and one each in Greater Taichung, Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County.

Japanese encephalitis usually becomes prevalent between May and October, and peaks in June and July each year, the agency said.

Health authorities urged the public to get vaccinated and try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Preventive measures include wearing long-sleeved clothing and using mosquito repellent, coils and vaporizers, they said.

According to the WHO, most Japanese encephalitis infections are mild or have no apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections result in severe disease, characterized by the rapid onset of high fever, headaches and even death.

The mortality rate can be as high as 30 percent among those who display symptoms.

In other news, the centers yesterday reported the year’s latest case of enterovirus infection: A newborn battling severe complications at just three days old.

The boy was infected with Echovirus 11 and is still in critical condition, the centers said.

The agency urged pregnant women and families with children under the age of five to be on high alert, as they are especially prone to enterovirus infections.

Five cases of severe infection have been reported so far this year including the most recent one, the centers said, adding that the Coxsackie A virus is currently the dominant strain of enterovirus circulating around the nation.

Children showing symptoms such as a persistent fever, drowsiness, inactivity or continuous vomiting should be taken to a doctor to check for the virus, the agency said.

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