To provide the public a convenient channel for communicable disease reporting and consultation, Taiwan CDC has operated an easy-to-remember, toll-free hotline 1922 since 2003, which provides 24-hour service on disease reporting, communicable disease consultation, prevention policy promotion and control measure education to the public throughout the year.
The total number of incoming calls in 2007 has increased by more than 18% when compared to that in 2006, and the number of requests for service provided by the operators has increased by 50%, which reflected an increase in the utilization of 1922.Most callers are from Taipei City, Taipei County and Taoyuan County.Usually, the public calls 1922 for communicable disease consultation service, and information concerning local and overseas epidemics.In 2007, the most commonly inquired topics were influenza vaccine, measles and tuberculosis (TB), while AIDS and “travel-related communicable diseases” ranked the 4th and 5th hot topics. Based on analysis of the previous incoming calls in the past years, abrupt epidemics and changes of prevention and control measures were the major causes of wide fluctuation in the volume of incoming calls.
Since Taiwan CDC’s free administration of influenza vaccine that began in October 2007, “influenza vaccine” has gradually become a highly inquired topic by the public and reached a requesting peak in December.The most frequently asked questions about “influenza vaccine” included collaborating hospitals, target groups, contraindications and precautions.Currently the stockpile of influenza vaccine has slowly decreased, and most of the countries in the world have entered the influenza season.Therefore, Taiwan CDC urges the public to get flu shots as soon as possible.
Although TB and AIDS are not considered as seasonal infectious diseases, in 2007, Taiwan CDC actively promoted related control activities such as DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course) for TB and Harm Reduction Program for AIDS.In addition, Taiwan CDC has also formulated “Postpone Your Flight” and other related policies.After multiple health education and promotion campaigns, the public has become more and more aware of TB and AIDS.
On the other hand, “travel-related communicable diseases” was ranked the 5th most inquired question, and most inquiries concerned the international epidemic situations, and the relevant prevention and control measures.Among countries where epidemics had occurred, China and some other countries in Southeast Asia that were associated with H5N1 avian influenza and dengue fever were the most inquired, followed by Japan, which is the most popular travel destination for Taiwanese tourists.
Once again, Taiwan CDC appeals to the public to watch out for gastrointestinal, respiratory, mosquito borne and H5N1 infection while traveling abroad.Practicing good personal hygiene is the basis of communicable disease prevention.Simple measures that help protect you and the others from the threat of communicable diseases include wash hands frequently, wear a mask when coughing, seek medical attention immediately when experiencing flu symptoms and fever, and avoid going to work or school while sick.If you have any questions about communicable diseases, please call the 1922 hotline.In 2008, the hotline stil provides 24-hour service.