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CDC reports Taiwan's 5th enterovirus fatality this year

CDC reports Taiwan's 5th enterovirus fatality this year

A 2-year-old boy in the central county of Taichung has died of serious enterovirus infection, making him the country's fifth victim of the disease so far this year, the Department of Health (DOH) reported Tuesday.
The DOH's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will hold a news conference later in the day to announce whether an enterovirus outbreak alert and the response level will be raised.
Enterovirus is a virus that enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract and thrives there. The virus is the most common cause of aseptic meningitis and can cause serious illness, especially in infants and the immuno-compromised.
When the country's fourth enterovirus-related fatality was reported in late May, CDC officials said if one more deadly case occurs, the DOH will raise the alert level against this ailment and set up a Cabinet-level epidemic response command center to contain further spread of the disease, with DOH Minister Lin Fang-yue as the top commander.
Following the toddler's death, Taichung County's first this year, Chu Nien-feng, director of the county's health department, said any daycare center or kindergarten in the county that reports two enterovirus cases in a week should be closed for one week for disinfection.
If a second deadly case is reported in the county, Chu said, any daycare center and kindergarten that reports a serious enterovirus case should suspend operations for one week.
The scourge of serious type EV71 enterovirus this year first occurred in Kaohsiung city and county and in Pingtung city and county, gradually spreading northward, with the number of confirmed serious cases rising swiftly to 136 as of June 3, while fatalities had doubled from two to four by the end of May. All four victims were infected with the same enterovirus strain-- EV71.
Liu Ching-chuan, director of the infectious disease control department at Cheng Kung National University Hospital, said last month that this year might see a major enterovirus outbreak, with the number of serious EV71 cases probably surging to 300 by June. The spread of the disease tends to peak in mid-June.
According to Liu, Taiwan could experience a major enterovirus outbreak once every 10 years and 2008 could be part of that cycle.
In 1998, Taiwan recorded 405 serious EV71 cases, 78 of which were fatal. The number of serious cases has since declined. In 2000, only a few cases were documented and there have been no serious enterovirus outbreaks reported since 2005.


Updated : 2020-12-02 21:52 GMT+08:00