Investigation of a Suspected Respiratory and Encephalitis Cluster among University Students in Central Taiwan

Sung-Hsi Wei1, Jung-Jung Mu2, Ho-Sheng Wu2, Hsiu-Li Chang1, Du-Ling Lin1, Chih-Chung Tu1, Ming-Cheng Lin1

2012 Vol.28 NO.12

Correspondence Author: Sung-Hsi Wei

  • 1.Third Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan
  • 2.Center for Research and Diagnosis, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan
  • 3.Disease control section, Health Bureau of Taichung City Government, Taiwan


A student from an university in central Taiwan was hospitalized for respiratory tract infection and encephalitis in late April, 2012. He died 5 days after hospitalization. One of his classmates also showed symptoms of respiratory tract infection and ataxia and was admitted to a tertiary hospital two weeks after his death. In addition to the two students, 30 classmates presented symptoms of respiratory tract infection from late April to late May. Human Bocavirus was detected from the cerebrospinal fluid of the deceased student. Among the seven students with respiratory tract infection, three were found to have human herpesvirus 7 (HHV7) and two were found to have HHV7 and human coronavirus HKU1 by throat swab tests. The class was dismissed between May 24 and May 28. The school authority cleaned the environment with bleach. No more student was found to have respiratory tract infection after the interventions.