The peak season for enterovirus infections is over, but three cases of serious complications from enterovirus infection were confirmed last week, including a rare case, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
Last week, 16,299 people had confirmed cases of enterovirus infections, a 5.4 percent decline from the week before, indicating that the peak infection season has passed, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said.
However, the epidemic season is not over yet, Liu added.
Twenty-two people have had serious complications of enterovirus infection this year, 15 of whom were infected with enterovirus 71 (EV71), two with enterovirus D68, and five with five other subtypes of enteroviruses.
CDC physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said that three people were reported to have serious complications of enterovirus infection: a two-year-old boy in northern Taiwan, a two-year-old girl in southern Taiwan — both infected with EV71 — and a rare case of a 17-year-old boy in northern Taiwan who was infected with coxsackievirus A6.
The teenager showed symptoms of fever, herpangina (small, blister-like bumps or ulcers in the mouth), weakness in the limbs, difficulty breathing and hypoxemia (an abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood), and later developed hepatitis and pneumonia.
The risk of coxsackievirus A6 causing serious complications and hepatitis, as well as serious complication of enteroviruses infection occurring in a teenager, is low, Lin said.
Usually, children under five are at higher risk of serious complications, but older children and adolescents might still be at risk, he said.
The three patients have fully recovered and have been discharged from hospital, Lin said.
Separately, three new cases of Japanese encephalitis were confirmed last week, the CDC said.
The patients are two men and one woman aged 50 to 80 who have never been vaccinated against the disease, it said.
They are from Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音), Taichung’s Taiping District (太平) and Changhua County’s Homei Township (和美), and all live in or have been near rice paddies, pig farms or pigeon houses, which are high-risk areas for contracting mosquito-borne diseases, the CDC said.
Fifteen cases of Japanese encephalitis, including two deaths, have been confirmed this year, and the peak period is in June and July, Lin said, urging people to take measures to prevent mosquito bites.
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