The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday urged the public to regularly clean and replace the water filters in their drinking-water dispensers, after it identified a water cooler as the source of two newborns’ Legionnaires disease infection last year.
CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said these were the first two cases ever of newborns contracting the water-borne disease by drinking water from a water cooler, and that the findings were to be published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.
“Both of the newborns resided in central Taiwan and started exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia seven days after their birth. They were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease — a serious type of lung infection — in April and October last year respectively, after their phlegm tested positive for the Legionella bacteria,” Chuang said.
The pair did not live near each other, nor were they delivered at the same hospital, Chuang added.
Chuang said the centers came to the conclusion that the newborns had been infected with the disease after drinking Legionella-laced infant formula, after the same strains of bacteria they were infected with were found around the rims of the outlets for chilled and warm water of the drinking-water dispensers at their homes.
“Luckily, they have both recovered,” Chuang said.
The centers said the disease is extremely rare among children and that the majority of the 115 people infected with the disease last year were aged between 50 and 60.
The disease is not transmitted from person to person and is primarily contracted by inhaling water droplets containing Legionella bacteria, the centers said, adding that symptoms included a loss of appetite, muscle pains, headache, fever and aversion to cold.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
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Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up