Laboratory Investigation of a Suspected Enterovirus 71 Outbreak in Central Taiwan

SY Wang

1999 Vol.15 NO.12

Correspondence Author: Correspondence Author


Enterovirus 71 (EV71) was first identified in the US in 1969. It was also, of all known enteroviruses, the last one identified. Subsequently, infections have been reported from all over the world. The virus can induce, in addition to some special clinical symptoms such as hand-foot-and-mouth disease(HFMD)and herpangina, serious complications of the nervous system such as meningitis and encephalitis. Its pathogenicity therefore is high. Between January and May 1999, of all suspected EV71 cases reported by contract laboratories in the northern, central, southern, and eastern parts of Taiwan, only three were confirmed. However, since June 1999, one provisional medical center in central Taiwan unusually reported in series six EV71 cases. To avoid any panic of the public resulting from inadequate evaluation, Division of Viral Diseases and Division of Surveillance of Center for Disease Control in Taiwan immediately conducted relevant laboratory and epidemiological investigations of the incident. By visiting cases, understanding the laboratory procedures of the said provisional medical center, and further laboratory testing of specimens, it was decided that the six cases were Coxsackie A16 virus infections.