Wed, Nov 27, 2019 - Page 2 News List

CDC confirms four enterovirus cases, one toddler’s death

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Four cases of serious complications from enterovirus infection, including one death, were confirmed last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, urging people to take preventive measures even though the epidemic period has ended.

Last week, there were 7,945 hospital visits associated with enterovirus infections, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said.

The weekly reported cases have been below the epidemic threshold of 10,500 for two weeks, meaning that the epidemic period has ended, Guo said.

However, four cases of serious complications from enterovirus infection were reported — three cases in northern Taiwan and the death of a three-year-old boy in southern Taiwan — CDC physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said.

The boy late last month developed a fever and cold-like symptoms, but did not show common signs of enterovirus infection, such as hand, foot and mouth disease, so he was not diagnosed with enterovirus infection after a few visits to hospital, Lin said.

He was later hospitalized for abdominal pain, vomiting and loss of appetite, but his situation continued to worsen, developing symptoms of change in consciousness, difficulty breathing, cardiopulmonary arrest and shock, Lin added.

The boy died of brainstem encephalitis from enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection 10 days after being hospitalized, Lin said, adding that the boy had not come into direct contact with anyone who was diagnosed with the virus, so he might have contracted it from a person who showed no symptoms.

The three other cases are a nine-month-old diagnosed with encephalitis caused by Coxsackievirus A6, and two boys aged 13 and 17 diagnosed with acute flaccid paralysis caused by EV71.

Sixty-three cases of serious complications from enterovirus infection have been confirmed this year, including two deaths, and a majority, or 49 cases, were caused by EV71 infection, Guo said.

Although the epidemic period has ended, enterovirus infections are reported all year round, so people should still take preventive measures and children under five who are infected should be immediately taken to a hospital if they show signs of serious complications, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.

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