The first enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection this year has been reported, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, cautioning parents of preschoolers that EV71 is more likely to cause serious complications than coxsackievirus A6 (CV-A6), a more common infection.
A 19-month old Taiwanese boy was hospitalized in China’s Hainan Province after developing symptoms — fever, decreased responsiveness, excessive sleepiness, muscle twitching and spasms — that are often seen in enterovirus infections, and was later diagnosed with severe hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), the CDC said.
The boy returned to Taiwan after his condition improved and has since recovered.
Huang Wan-ting (黃婉婷), a CDC doctor, said Taiwan is experiencing a high incidence of enterovirus and HFMD infections.
The agency cautioned the public that preschoolers are at high risk of severe enterovirus infection and that complications can develop rapidly.
“Parents should take heed of suspicious symptoms and regularly clean and sterilize children’s toys,” Lin said.