In light of the second confirmed enterovirus 71 (EV 71) with severe complications case in Taiwan has prompted officials to prepare to the possibility of an outbreak in 2016.

Taiwan map/CIA
Taiwan map/CIA

Last Friday, the Taiwan CDC confirmed the second EV 71 case in a Yilan County 2-year-old.  The complications were so severe that the child had to be treated in intensive care and is now recovering.

Taiwan CDC once again stresses that enterovirus is highly contagious and infants and children aged below 5 are at increased risk of developing enterovirus infection with severe complications. Adults who return home from work are advised to change cloths and wash hands with soap and water before coming into contact with children. In addition, please make sure children wash their hands with soap and water thoroughly when going out, returning home and before having their meals in order to ward off infection.

Taiwan CDC has established a response work team and designated 76 hospitals in the nation as the Treatment Center for Patients of Enterovirus Infection with Severe Complications. Health officials urge parents to pay close attention to the symptoms of the child diagnosed with enterovirus infection, if the sick child develops suspected symptoms such as drowsiness, disturbed consciousness, inactivity, flaccid paralysis, myoclonic jerk, continuous vomiting, tachypnea, and tachycardia, please take the child to a large hospital for medical attention immediately in order to ensure prompt treatment.

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is typically a benign and self-limiting disease. Most common in young children, it presents as fever, oral lesions and rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. The oral lesions consist of rapidly-ulcerating vesicles on the buccal mucosa, tongue, palate and gums. The rash consists of papulovesicular lesions on the palms, fingers and soles, which generally persist for seven to 10 days, and maculopapular lesions on the buttocks.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus (group). This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses.

  • Coxsackievirus A16 is the most common cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease in the United States, but other coxsackieviruses have been associated with the illness.
  • Enterovirus 71 has also been associated with hand, foot, and mouth disease and outbreaks of this disease.

EV-71 has been implicated in HFMD outbreaks in Southeast Asia over the several years. EV 71 is a non-polio enterovirus.

Complications associated with HFMD caused by the more pathogenic EV-71 strain include encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, acute flaccid paralysis, pulmonary edema or hemorrhage and myocarditis. Most deaths in HFMD occur as a result of pulmonary edema or hemorrhage.