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As woman in southern Taiwan hospitalized due to Japanese encephalitis, Taiwan CDC urges public to take precautions ( 2014-11-04 )

On November 4, 2014, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced one new case of Japanese encephalitis in an 80-year-old female who resides in southern Taiwan. On October 10, when she subsequently developed fever, change in consciousness and general fatigue, she was hospitalized for treatment. On October 24, after being reported to the health authority, Japanese encephalitis infection was confirmed in the case by Taiwan CDC. According to the epidemiological investigation, the case had not recently traveled overseas, there are no pig farms or rice paddy fields around the case’s residence, and none of the family members who reside in the same household with the case have developed any suspected symptoms. To prevent the further spread of the disease, the local health authorities has reinforced health education among residents who live near the confirmed cases and urged routine vaccination of age-appropriate children.  


Thus far this year, as of November 3, a cumulative total of 17 cases of Japanese encephalitis, including one death, have been confirmed in Taiwan, including 4 in Changhua County, 3 in Pingtung County, 3 in Tainan City, 2 in Chiayi City, 2 in Kaohsiung City, 1 in Hsinchu County, 1 in Taichung City, and 1 in Yilan County. Taiwan CDC reminds the public that vector mosquitoes primarily breed in rice paddy fields, ponds and irrigation canals and they are most active during dawn and dusk. Pigs act as the amplifying host for Japanese encephalitis. Taiwan CDC advises the public to avoid mosquito bites by limiting visits to vector-prone areas such as pig and other animal farms, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. If, however, visits to vector-prone areas are unavoidable, please wear light-colored clothing, long sleeves and long pants and apply officially approved mosquito repellent to exposed parts of the body to prevent mosquito bites and lower the risk of infection.


As severe cases may experience psychological or neurological sequelae, and even death, Taiwan CDC advises the public to take all the necessary precautions to prevent infection. Parents are urged to make sure their children receive the vaccine timely. People who live near or work in close proximity to pig farms or rice paddy fields that increase their risk of Japanese encephalitis infection are recommended to visit one of the hospitals under the Ministry of Health and Welfare for self-paid vaccination.  For more information on Japanese encephalitis, please visit the Taiwan CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922, or 0800-001922.

  • Last modified at 2014-11-04
  • Data from Division of Planning and Coordination