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CDC October 2018 News

Date:2018-10-08

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the enterovirus A71 epidemic in Taiwan. Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) and the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) co-hosted “Lessons Learned: 20th Anniversary of Enterovirus A71 Epidemic of 1998 in Taiwan” at Chang Yung-Fa Foundation International Convention Center in Taipei from September 28th to 29th. The conference congregated world- renowned experts in the fields of enterovirus, laboratory technology, vaccine research and development, and public health to share experiences with medical professionals, researchers, and government officials from Taiwan. The event invited experts from 7 nations, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, the U.S., and Vietnam; the attendance was approximately 300 participants.

The first epidemic of enterovirus A71 in Taiwan occurred in 1998, causing 78 deaths in children and social panic, and severely affected Taiwan’s disease prevention and medical system. In recent years, Taiwan has put much effort into the elimination of health risks caused by enterovirus. Taiwan is also advancing the research and development of enterovirus-related topics through collaboration among the medical institutions,public health professionals,the public,and schools At the same time, more than 100 papers have been published in internationally renowned journals and have drawn attention from researchers worldwide. On top of that, three Taiwanese experts were invited to participate in the consultation meeting of the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Region Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Enterovirus Control in 2010.

The conference on enterovirus held in Taipei presented fruitful research findings; participating experts shared valuable experiences regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of enterovirus infections. The conference undoubtedly contributed to strengthening the global capacity of combating public health threats, establishing an international network of cooperation, and expanding Taiwan’s global presence.

According to statistics compiled by Taiwan CDC, the EV-A71 epidemic occurred in 1998 led to 405 cases of enterovirus infections with severe complications and 78 deaths; the mortality rate was 19.3%. The most recent EV-A71 epidemic happened in 2012, resulting in 153 severe cases, of which 2 died. In 2016, there were 33 severe enterovirus cases, including 1 death; the mortality rate was 13%. The number of enterovirus cases and the mortality rate of EVA71 have significantly reduced due to the close collaboration among the government, medical professionals, and researchers, who for many years have been tirelessly carrying out epidemic surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, community prevention, clinical care and vaccine development.

EV-A71 remains a threat to Taiwan, Southeast Asian countries and China. In addition, the large-scale enterovirus D68 outbreak that took the lives of many in the United States in 2014 once again showed that the threat of enterovirus is a global issue that cannot be ignored.

For more information, please visit Taiwan CDC’s 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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