Prevention and Control of Enterovirus Infection in Taiwan, 2011-2012
Shu-Chun Chu1,En-Tzu Wang1,Ding-Ping Liu1,Jih-Haw Chou2, Feng-Yee Chang3
2013 Vol.29 NO.14
Correspondence Author： Shu-Chun Chu
Enterovirus (EV) infection is a seasonal infectious disease in Taiwan. Among the enteroviruses, EV 71 is the major type of virus causing severe complications in EV cases. The EV71 epidemic cycle usually occurred during two to four years. The latest EV71 epidemic occurred in 2008 with a total of 373 severe cases and 14 deaths. Due to the accumulation of susceptible hosts, the activities of EV71 increased obviously in late autumn of 2011, leading to 59 cases with severe complications, including 4 deaths. The EV71 outbreak in 2011 persisted and reached its peak in mid-June 2012 and then descending, with a total of 153 severe cases, including 2 deaths. The fatality rate of severe cases in 2012 was 1.3%, the lowest in the epidemic history of EV71.
Learning from the experience in control of EV71 epidemic in 2008, we have initiated control activities in advance in three major dimensions, including public health, healthcare, and organizational mobilization systems, since the second half of 2011 when we were given the epidemic early warning. These activities include to use various surveillance systems to closely monitor the epidemic trend of EV infections, to early initiate and actively enforce effective control measures, to use the Self-inspection Checklist to fully implement control practices in schools or childcare centers, to strengthen cooperation with education and social welfare authorities, to extend relevant control activities to the sites where young children visit frequently, to develop various dissemination materials for multiple media channels to elevate accessibility of information on control of EV infection, to strengthen health education for caregivers of young children about caring for sick child, to establish platform for communication and cooperation between responsible hospitals for providing services of patients infected with EV so as to promote exchange of specialized medical knowledge and clinical technology and to enhance the efficiency patient transfer system, to strengthen cooperation of cross-ministries and with specialists and healthcare system, and to elevate the administrative level of command systems. Through these activities, we have reached the goals of effectively controlling EV infection and reducing impacts of the disease to the society.