One case of serious complications from an enterovirus infection and three new cases of Japanese encephalitis were confirmed last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
Enterovirus infections in the nation last week increased by 14.2 percent to 14,825 people, with one confirmed case of serious complications, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said.
A total of 13 cases of serious complications have been confirmed this year, seven of which were caused by enterovirus 71, she said.
The case of serious complications confirmed last week involved a two-year-old boy in northern Taiwan whose symptoms began in the middle of last month with fever and mouth blisters, CDC physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said.
The boy’s symptoms continued for three weeks before he was hospitalized for sleepiness, limb paralysis, muscle weakness, voiding difficulties and bowel obstruction, he said.
Children younger than five are at higher risk for enterovirus infections, the CDC said, adding that thoroughly washing hands with soap is the best prevention method.
The three new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week involved a woman in her 50s in Hsinchu County’s Hukou Township (湖口), a man in his 50s in Chiayi City’s West District (西區) and a woman in her 30s in Pingtung County’s Linbian Township (林邊), Lin said.
None had gone abroad recently, but all three had been near pigeon houses, pigsties or drainage ditches, he said, adding that two were unconscious in intensive care units.
Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing a Japanese encephalitis infection, so parents of children older than 15 months should take them to local health bureaus or contracted hospitals for vaccination, the CDC said, adding that people should avoid outside activity during peak mosquito hours.
People planning on traveling abroad should check the agency’s Web site for information on communicable diseases in their destination, it said.
It is peak season for dengue fever in many Southeast Asian countries and the Maldives; chikungunya has been reported in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Maldives; and there is still the risk of contracting Zika fever in some Southeast Asian and Central and South American countries, as well as in the Caribbean, it added.
Reported enterovirus infections in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Singapore have also been rising, the CDC said, adding that measles has been reported in several countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Ukraine, Romania, France and Poland.
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