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Taiwan confirms this year's first Japanese encephalitis case

2018/05/21 18:53:53

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported Monday the country's first confirmed case of Japanese encephalitis this year, describing the patient as a middle-aged farmer from Pingtung County who is being treated in a hospital intensive care unit.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told the press that the man sought medical treatment at a local hospital a week earlier after developing symptoms of headache, fatigue and fever.

Three days later, the patient was transferred to another hospital and diagnosed as a suspected case of Japanese encephalitis.

On Monday, the diagnosis was confirmed, Chuang said.

Severe infection of the mosquito-borne contagious disease can produce symptoms such as a change to the state of consciousness, fatigue, high fever and partial neurological disorder. The fatality rate is 20 percent to 30 percent, according to the CDC.

The agency noted that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection.

In Taiwan, Japanese encephalitis outbreaks normally peak in June and July. CDC data shows that the number of confirmed cases was 16 in 2013, 18 in 2014, 30 in 2015, 23 in 2016, and 25 in 2017.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Elizabeth Hsu)
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