Enterovirus Infection Cases Rising As Peak Season Approaches

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By Lee I-chia

Date: May 11, 2016

Reference: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2016/05/11/2003646009

HIGHS AND LOWS: A CDC official said that the number of cases reported in Singapore is the highest in five years, but in Japan it is the lowest in 10 years

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said enterovirus infection cases reported last week increased by 17.8 percent from the previous week, adding that peak season for enterovirus infections is expected to be late next month.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said the nation is facing the enterovirus epidemic season, with group A coxsackieviruses being the most common reported virus infection, and the number of infection cases is expected to increase.

According to agency statistics, a total of 13,225 infection cases — mainly group A coxsackieviruses — were reported last week, a 17.8 percent increase compared with the week before.

As of Monday, 24 cases of enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection had been reported in eight cities and counties this year, the agency said, adding that no reports of enterovirus infection with serious complications were reported last week.

A total of 38 suspected cases of serious complications caused by enterovirus infection have been reported this year — including three confirmed cases caused by EV71, with 11 waiting to be tested and 24 excluded, it said.

CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said recent enterovirus outbreaks in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Macau and Singapore showed a trend of numbers reaching a relatively high peak.

China is experiencing an EV71 epidemic, while the number of enterovirus infection cases in Singapore this year has reached 1.4 times the number from last year, which is also the highest number in the past five years, Liu said, adding that the number of infection cases reported in Japan is the lowest in 10 years.

Chuang said people, especially those with children, who are planning to visit China should take precautionary measures against EV71.

The CDC said washing hands frequently is the main prevention measure against enterovirus infection.

Adults are advised to change their clothes and wash their hands when they get home and before hugging their children, while children should wash their hands before eating meals, and stay at home to rest if they are diagnosed with an infection.

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Image reference: http://germs.co.za/enterovirus-71/

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