TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Last week the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) confirmed 5 new cases of enterovirus infection with severe complications, according to a news release issued by the agency on Tuesday.
In light of the increasing number of cases of enterovirus infection with severe complications reported and the majority of these new cases are infected with enterovirus D68, Taiwan CDC cited Professor Hung Kun-long (洪焜隆), the Pediatric Neurology professor from the Fu Jen Catholic University College of Medicine, as saying that besides the common symptoms of enterovirus infection such as hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and herpangina, the primary symptoms of enterovirus D68 infection include the symptoms of the upper respiratory tract infection such as fever, runny nose, and cough.
A few infected individuals may develop complications such as encephalitis and myelitis, the agency said, adding, however, once limb weakness or numbness develops, patients might develop permanent sequelae that will require extensive physical therapy.
Professor Hung reminded the public that as there is no effective vaccine to prevent or drug to treat the infection, the most effective ways to prevent infection are to wash hands properly and frequently with soap and water and practice good personal hygiene, Taiwan CDC said..
The 5 new cases of enterovirus infection with severe complications confirmed last week are respectively caused by enterovirus D68 (2 cases), CA9 (2 cases), and EV71 (1 case).
Thus far this year, 20 cases of enterovirus infection with severe complications, including 1 death, respectively caused by enterovirus D68 (8 cases), CA 6 (3 cases), CB3 (2 cases), CA9 (2cases), echovirus 5 (2 cases), enterovirus 71 (2 cases), and CA 2 (1 case) have been confirmed, Taiwan CDC said.
All enteroviruses are transmitted through the fecal-oral route, respiratory droplets and direct contact, the agency said, adding that the most effective ways to ward off enteroviruses are to practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, avoid visiting crowded public places, and rest at home when sick.
When a child in a household develops symptoms of complications such as drowsiness, disturbed consciousness, inactivity, flaccid paralysis, myoclonic jerk, continuous vomiting, tachypnea, and tachycardia, please take the child to a large hospital for medical attention immediately in order to ensure prompt treatment, the agency said. For more information, please call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).