TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—On June 5, 2018, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced the first death from severe enterovirus infection in a newborn boy who resided in eastern Taiwan.
He was born in early May and began to develop symptoms, including fever, inactivity, and loss of appetite in late May, Taiwan CDC said, adding that he was then rushed to a hospital for treatment and was hospitalized. After two days of hospitalization, his conditions worsened and he was transferred to a medical center in northern Taiwan for further treatment, according to Taiwan CDC. Infection with echovirus 11 and severe complications was then laboratory confirmed in the case. However, the baby died after hospitalization for two weeks, the agency said.
Newborns can acquire enterovirus infection either during delivery from their mothers or contact with infected individuals after birth. Therefore, Taiwan CDC urges expectant mothers to pay attention to hand and respiratory hygiene during pregnancy. If symptoms pertaining to enterovirus infection such as fever, upper respiratory infection, diarrhea, and rib pain develop 14 days prior to and after delivery, be sure to inform the physician to facilitate diagnosis and treatment, according to the agency.
Infections with echovirus and coxsackievirus are common among newborns. Initial symptoms include fever, inactivity, and loss of appetite, Taiwan CDC said. The prodromal symptoms of complications include myocarditis, hepatitis, encephalitis, low platelet count, and multiple organ failure, the agency added.
Therefore, Taiwan CDC urged parents and caregivers to heighten vigilance for the development of the aforementioned symptoms in an infected newborn and ensure the child promptly receive treatment at a large hospital.
According to the surveillance data compiled by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC), the number of visits to outpatient services and ER for enterovirus infection in the nation has continued to increased, almost reaching the epidemic threshold (11,000).