Meningitis cases confirmed
Three cases of meningitis infection have been confirmed between Thursday last week and Monday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, cautioning the public of the worldwide meningitis season every spring and winter. The three patients — an eight-month-old girl in Hualien County, a three-year-old boy in Taitung County and a 16-year-old boy in Greater Taichung — all experienced fever before being hospitalized, the agency said. While the two younger children’s conditions have stabilized, with one in the general ward and the other discharged, the 16-year-old, who developed symptoms of neck stiffness, a bleeding skin rash, impaired consciousness and finally a coma, is in critical condition and has been placed in intensive care. As of yesterday, a total of five cases of meningitis have been confirmed this year (two of Group B, two of Group C and one ungroupable), the CDC said.
Bangkok alert continues
No Taiwanese have been reported to have been affected by anti-government protests in Bangkok, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday, adding that the nation’s representative office there is closely monitoring the situation. However, ministry spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) urged Taiwanese planning to travel there to be alert and to avoid visits to crowded areas. The ministry is maintaining a “gray” travel alert for Thailand, which has been in place since earlier this month. It is the lowest of the government’s four-color travel alerts and urges caution on the part of travelers. Kao’s remarks came after anti-government protesters stormed the Thai Ministry of Finance and broke into the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs compound a day earlier in a bid to overthrow Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Products need votes
The Changhua County Government wants the public to vote online for the products and food specialties they think are most representative of the county, Deputy Changhua County Commissioner Ko Cheng-fang (柯呈枋) said yesterday. A panel of 30 experts has selected 24 food products and six other items for the public to choose from, Ko said. The products include fruit wine, taro cake, black rice, garlic snacks, tea sets and incense, he said. The county government has also invited 300 faculty members and students of Chung Chou University of Science and Technology to see, taste and touch the products before voting for the top 10, Ko said. The poll to pick the top 10 products began on Monday and runs through Dec. 9 on www.2013chaggift.com.tw.
MOFA protests H7N9 listing
MOFA said yesterday that its office in Japan has lodged a protest with the Japanese government and demanded a correction to a Web site that listed Taiwan as an area with the avian influenza (H7N9) virus. Ministry spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) said the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan contacted authorities in Tokyo and was told that the record of H7N9 infections in Taiwan and China had been listed separately. Kao was responding to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-cher’s (黃偉哲) complaint earlier in the day that Japan added the number of H7N9 influenza cases in China to the count for Taiwan and listed Taiwan as an H7N9 alert area.