The number of enterovirus infection cases reported last week increased 13.8 percent to 10,427, nearing the epidemic threshold of 11,000, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said yesterday.
The number has increased for two consecutive weeks, she said, adding that the rate was higher in central, northern and eastern Taiwan.
There were no cases of serious complications or deaths associated with the disease in the past two weeks, but 32 serious enterovirus-related complications have been reported this year, she said.
The two peak periods for enterovirus infection are usually between spring and summer, and when school begins in autumn, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.
Fewer cases during the peak periods this year and slightly higher temperatures over the past two weeks might explain last week’s increase, he said.
The most commonly circulating viruses in the first period this year were echovirus 11 and enterovirus 71, but the most common virus detected in the past four weeks are of the coxsackie A strain, Chuang said.
While fewer cases are expected as temperatures drop, the CDC urged parents and people who work with small children to wash their hands frequently and to change clothing before approaching young children, especially after visiting crowded places.
If infants or young children begin to exhibit signs of serious complications — sleepiness, disturbed consciousness, low activity, weakness or numbness in the limbs, involuntary muscle jerks, continuous vomiting, shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat — they should be taken to a hospital for immediate treatment, the CDC said.
Meanwhile, 54,673 cases of flu-like illness were reported last week, slightly higher than the week before, while more than 3.91 million doses of the flu vaccine had been administered as of Sunday, exceeding the approximately 3.75 million doses given during the same period last year, the CDC said.
However, the vaccination rate for children under three years old is relatively low, the CDC said, urging parents to have their children vaccinated as soon as possible.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number