Tai­wan sees first Ja­panese en­cephali­tis case of the year

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol (CDC) an­nounced Fri­day the year’s first case of Ja­panese en­cephali­tis and urged the public to get vac­ci­nated and avoid mos­qui­toes, the pri­mary vec­tor of the dis­ease.

The pa­tient is a 31-year-old house­wife in South­ern Tai­wan, who re­mains in crit­i­cal con­di­tion af­ter be­ing con­firmed to have the dis­ease two days ago.

She de­vel­oped a fever and headache June 2 and was hos­pi­tal­ized June 4 af­ter her symptoms per­sisted and she be­gan de­vel­op­ing dizzi­ness and vom­it­ing, the CDC said.

Ja­panese en­cephali­tis usu­ally be­comes preva­lent be­tween May and Oc­to­ber and peaks in June and July, ac­cord­ing to the CDC.

From 2010 to 2014, the to­tal num­bers of con­firmed Ja­panese en­cephali­tis cases re­spec­tively were 33, 22, 32, 16 and 18, it said.

Peo­ple of all ages can be­come in­fected, the CDC warned, adding that peo­ple aged be­tween 30 and 59 are at in­creased risk of in­fec­tion. Ac­cord­ing to CDC data, peo­ple in this age group are more likely than oth­ers to be ex­posed to the vec­tor mos­qui­toes.

Per­sonal pre­ven­tive mea­sures in­clude the use of re­pel­lents, longsleeved clothes, coils and va­por­iz­ers, it said.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Ja­panese en­cephali­tis in­fec­tions are mild or with­out ap­par­ent symptoms, but ap­prox­i­mately one in 250 in­fec­tions re­sults in se­vere dis­ease char­ac­ter­ized by rapid on­set of high fever, headache and death.

The case-fa­tal­ity rate can be as high as 30 per­cent among those with dis­ease symptoms.

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