Among 100 cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) reported this year, 62 were younger than six and 38 were aged six to 12, while only 19 among them had been vaccinated against COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
Meanwhile, the number of daily new cases of COVID-19 is expected to increase next week as the Omicron BA.5 subvariant of SARS-CoV-2 spreads, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for young children is expected to become available by next weekend.
CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman, said that 24,873 new local cases, 204 imported cases and 33 deaths were confirmed yesterday.
Photo courtesy of Mennonite Christian Hospital
The local caseload is 4.2 percent higher than the figure on Wednesday last week, Chuang said.
The most cases were reported in New Taipei City with 5,073, followed by Taipei (3,054), Taichung (2,966), Taoyuan (2,793), Kaohsiung (2,015), Tainan (1,669) and fewer than 1,000 cases in the 16 other administrative regions, CECC data showed.
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said that two severe cases of MIS-C were confirmed, two boys aged one and three.
Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC, said that the total number of new COVID-19 cases this week is expected to be about the same as last week, but numbers are rising in northern Taiwan.
The daily caseloads are expected to rise next week, especially in the nation’s north, Wang said.
A surge is expected to begin by late this month, he said, adding that people should seek medical attention for a COVID-19 diagnosis if they test positive with an at-home rapid test.
The first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for young children is expected to arrive in Taiwan tomorrow and as lot release testing might take about seven days, it would likely be available by next weekend, Wang said.
People can go onto the CDC’s Web site to find hospitals and clinics for COVID-19 telemedicine consultations or outpatient services, to confirm an infection if they test positive and antiviral prescriptions if they meet the criteria, Lo said.
Asked about a doctor’s comments on Facebook citing a British study saying that while a sore throat is the most common symptom of Omicron cases, the next common symptom is a “hoarse voice,” Lo said that the study compared symptoms of people infected before Janurary with the Delta variant and those with Omicron.
There were more reports of a hoarse voice among people with Omicron, Lo said.
However, 50 to 60 percent of people with Omicron reported a sore throat, about 40 percent reported coughing and about 30 percent had a hoarse voice, he added.
The common cold and COVID-19 can both cause respiratory symptoms that lead to a hoarse voice, so it is not a symptom that is being tracked closely, he said.
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