Risk Assessment of Enterovirus D68 in Taiwan

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.20151110.31(21).001

Shu-Wan Jian, Chia-Lin Lee, Ding-Ping Liu

2015 Vol.31 NO.21

Correspondence Author: Shu-Wan Jian

  • Epidemic Intelligence Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) was associated with a widespread outbreak of severe respiratory disease since August 2014 in the US and acute flaccid myelitis during the 2014 outbreak. Some regions in Canada and European countries have also reported sporadic cases of laboratory-confirmed EV-D68 infections. Frequent travelling between the US, Europe and Taiwan posed a threat to Taiwan during enterovirus season, which triggered the risk assessment on EV-D68.

We estimated the probability and population-level impact of EV-D68 infections in Taiwan by referring to the risk assessment reports on EV-D68, the international risk assessment framework and algorithm, viral characteristics, global epidemiology, susceptibility of the population and other information currently available.

To date, the available information and scientific evidence indicated that the likelihood of any sporadic cases and clusters due to EV-D68 in Taiwan is medium, while the risk that sporadic case of severe respiratory illness and acute flaccid myelitis detected is due to EV-D68 is very low. EV-D68 detection and surveillance in Taiwan should be considered and enhanced in persons with severe unexplained acute respiratory disease or unexplained neurological symptoms. We recommended that healthcare professionals should be vigilant about preventing the spread of EV-D68, perform wash hands correctly and maintain a hygienic environment during enterovirus seasons.

Keywords:Severe unexplained acute respiratory disease;Enterovirus;Risk assessment;Acute flaccid myelitis;Acute flaccid paralysis