Enterovirus Outbreak in Taiwan, China
16 June 1998
Disease Outbreak Reported
As of 15 June 1998, a total of 38 deaths among infants and young children under five years of age have been reported in relation to an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease which began in late April of this year in Taiwan, China. The health authorities estimate that up to 300,000 infants and children may have been infected with enterovirus throughout the island An increased number of children have been hospitalised with aseptic meningitis or encephalitis. Of those hospitalised many had a febrile illness of 2-4 days' duration before sudden deterioration and death within 12 - 24 hours.
Enteroviruses have been isolated from stools, cerebrospinal fluid and other specimens from fatal and non-fatal cases. While Enterovirus 71 has been identified most often, it has not yet been confirmed as the aetiological agent. The local health authorities and a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA, continue to investigate the outbreak.