TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's health authorities reported three new cases of Japanese encephalitis on Tuesday (July 21), bringing the total to 16 this year; meanwhile, the year's first indigenous Dengue fever case was recorded in Taoyuan.
The three Japanese encephalitis patients are a man in his 60s from Taoyuan's Zhongli District, a woman in her 30s from New Taipei City's Xinzhuang District, and a man in his 50s from Taichung's Wuchi District. They began displaying symptoms such as fever, dizziness, headache, and altered consciousness on June 28, July 7, and July 8, respectively, before going to the hospital.
The two patients in northern Taiwan remain hospitalized, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.
Among the 16 cases of Japanese encephalitis so far this year, four were recorded in Taoyuan, with two each in New Taipei City, Taichung City, Changhua County, Kaohsiung City, and Pingtung City. Chiayi County and Tainan City both recorded one case.
Japanese encephalitis season lasts from May to October in Taiwan, with most cases being reported between June and July. It is the most common vaccine-preventable viral infection spread through mosquito bites in Asia and the Western Pacific; nevertheless, a small percentage of those who do become infected exhibit severe symptoms such as the sudden onset of a headache, high fever, disorientation, a coma, tremors, and convulsions.
The first indigenous case of Dengue fever reported in northern Taiwan is perhaps more alarming. The patient, a 20-year-old living in Taoyuan, has no recent overseas travel history. The person began to develop a fever and rash in mid-July.
Local health authorities are trying to identify the source of the infection. Disinfection efforts are underway.
There have been 56 imported cases of Dengue so far this year, which is relatively low compared to the same period in previous years due to worldwide COVID-19 travel restrictions.