The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced a new Japanese encephalitis case in Tainan City, which is the city’s first case this year. The case is a 64-year-old male who works in agriculture. On June 9, he developed impaired consciousness and high fever. On June 12, he sought medical attention at a hospital and was hospitalized when he developed vomiting, mental confusion and restlessness.

Taiwan map/CIA
Taiwan map/CIA

As of now, the case is hospitalized for treatment.

According to the epidemiological investigation, the case had not recently traveled overseas, had not been vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis, and spent most of his time at home and work area. In addition, there are 2 pig farms and rice paddy fields near his work place. Hence, it is determined that the source of infection is somewhere around the case’s work area.

According to Taiwan CDC’s surveillance data, transmission of Japanese encephalitis in Taiwan occurs annually between May and October and it usually peaks between June and July. Thus far this year, as of June 17, 3 Japanese encephalitis cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, including 2 in Kaohsiung City and 1 in Tainan City.

As vaccination is the most effective way to prevent Japanese encephalitis, people who live near or work in close proximity to pig farms or rice paddy fields that increase their risk of Japanese encephalitis infection are recommended to visit one of the hospitals under the Ministry of Health and Welfare for self-paid vaccination.

To prevent infection, avoid visiting vector-breeding sites such as pigpens at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. When needing to visit mosquito-prone places, people are advised to wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and apply officially approved mosquito repellent to exposed body parts to prevent mosquito bites and lower the risk of contracting Japanese encephalitis.