TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Concern was growing about the expansion of Japanese encephalitis as three new cases were reported Tuesday (June 25) in three different areas of the northwest and south.
The viral infection is transmitted mostly by three types of mosquitoes, with children especially at risk. Symptoms are vague but include headaches, fever, disorientation and paralysis among others.
Taiwan registered its first death from Japanese encephalitis just weeks ago, when a 50-year-old woman succumbed in Kaohsiung.
The new cases Tuesday involved a woman in her fifties in Hsinchu County, a man in his fifties in Chiayi City and a woman in her thirties in Pingtung County, the Liberty Times quoted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as saying.
None of them had traveled overseas recently, and all of them were still undergoing treatment in hospital, while their relatives did not show any symptoms, the CDC said.
However, the three latest patients lived close to risk areas such as pigeon and hog farms, as well as a drainage canal, according to the Liberty Times.
The new cases brought the total for Taiwan this year up to 10, with June and July being the usual peak period. The CDC advised the public to avoid animal farms and humid areas such as ponds and rice fields as much as possible, especially during dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes were most active.