Taiwan sees first Japanese encephalitis case of the year
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.