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CDC June 2018 News

Date:2018-06-05

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). In addition, 1 new case of echovirus 11 infection with severe complications was confirmed in a newborn. Hence, 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, please be sure to inform the physician to facilitate diagnosis and treatment.

The new case was a newborn baby 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. He was then rushed to a hospital for treatment and was hospitalized. After 2 days of hospitalization, his conditions worsened and was transferred to a medical center in northern Taiwan for further treatment. Infection with echovirus 11 and severe complications was then laboratory confirmed in the case. Despite being treated in the newborn intensive care unit for a little more than two weeks, the baby unfortunately still passed away due to multiple organ failure.

Newborns can acquire enterovirus infection either during delivery from their mothers or contact with infected individuals after birth. Infections with echovirus and coxsackievirus are common among newborns. Initial symptoms include fever, inactivity, and loss of appetite. Prodromal symptoms of complications include myocarditis, hepatitis, encephalitis, low platelet count, and multiple organ failure. Hence, parents and caregivers are urged 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 Taiwan CDC, during May 27 and June 2, 2018, the number of visits to outpatient services and ER for enterovirus infection in the nation was 10,794, which is 9.6% higher than that the week before, but still below the epidemic threshold (11,000). Thus far this year, a cumulative total of 10 enterovirus cases with severe complications have been confirmed. Among the 10 cases, 2 are caused by echovirus 11, 2 are caused by coxsackievirus B1, 2 are caused by enterovirus 71, 1 is caused by coxsackievirus A4, 1 is caused by coxsackievirus A16, 1 is caused by coxsackievirus B2, and 1 is coxsakcievirus B3. During the recent 4 weeks, coxsackievirus A is the dominant strain circulating in the community. However, the number of specimens tested positive for echovirus has been recently on the rise. In addition, 21 sporadic cases of enterovirus 71 have been confirmed this year, indicating that enterovirus 71 continues to occur in the community. Taiwan CDC will continue to monitor the ongoing outbreak and enterovirus activity.

Taiwan CDC stresses that as enterovirus infection progresses fast, children below the age of 5 are at increased risk of developing severe infection. If there is a newborn baby in the family, all family members must be sure to wash hands with soap and water frequently and wear a mask when sick to prevent disease transmission to the baby. Physicians and personnel working at postpartum nursing care homes are also urged to heighten vigilance for enterovirus infection and pay attention to the health of expectant mothers and newborn babies as well as reinforce the implementation of infection control measures in order to reduce the risk of infection among newborn babies. For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).

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