Taipei, May 8 (CNA) The Department of Health confirmed Tuesday four new severe cases of enterovirus 71 infections, bringing to 34 the total number of such cases reported this year.
According to the department, the cases were a two-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy in northern Taiwan, a two-year-old boy from central Taiwan and a nine-month old boy in southern Taiwan.
The department said the four children developed symptoms of fever, rashes, oral ulcers and a series of complications from late April. The three boys had made full recoveries, while the girl was still hospitalized.
The department said it still needed to confirm the cause of death of a seven-year-old girl suspected of having enterovirus 71 in eastern Taiwan's Taitung County.
The number of patients infected with enterovirus has increased significantly in the last two weeks, according to Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw.
In the last week alone, 863 visits were recorded at hospital emergency rooms around the country from children complaining of enterovirus symptoms, a single-week increase of 35 percent.
A task force has been formed by the health department to tackle the disease during the peak season, and kindergartens and schools have been urged to provide clean environments, to report cases and suspend classes to reduce outbreaks and the risk of infection among children.
(By Chen Ching-fang and Maia Huang)