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Getting Ready for Influenza Outbreak, Department of Health, Taipei City Government Takes Advance Action With 8 Major Medical Centers

    Winter is the season of respiratory disease outbreak. According to the National Health Insurance statistics, patients receiving emergency parainfluenza treatments in Taipei City have gradually increased during the first three weeks of the season. From October 2017 to January 25, 2018, Taipei City has accumulated 42 influenza patients with severe complications. Among them, as many as 38 patients were not vaccinated, and 2 patients that passed away were also not vaccinated.
    In response to the increasing influenza outbreak, the Department of Health, Taipei City Government gathered experts from 8 major medical centers in Taipei City and hospital representatives that had more than 1,000 emergency visits last Chinese New Year to hold an influenza outbreak readiness and response meeting. Commissioner Huang Shier-chieg stated, given that most clinics are not available during the Chinese New Year, parainfluenza patients may flock into large hospitals for treatment at an emergency clinic, which results in congestion at these hospitals. This will not only affect the rights of critical patients, it will also make the emergency room a cross-infection hub for respiratory diseases. In order to strengthen the response mechanism of the hospitals, he asked them to strictly monitor the service capacity of emergency clinics, activate parainfluenza patient diffusion mechanisms in a timely fashion to strengthen infection control measures, and store spare anti-virus medicines that would be sufficient for 4 weeks.
    Chief Chen Shao Ching of the Disease Control Division, Department of Health, Taipei City Government stated that the department has already investigated the anti-influenza strength of Taipei City during the Chinese New Year, and 8 key hospitals have founded special parainfluenza clinics. In addition, to reduce the number of emergency patients, the Department of Health encourages contracted designated clinics that provide public-expense anti-influenza medicines to operate during the Chinese New Year. According to current statistics, 742 clinic phases will be available. Related information will not only be announced on the official website of the Department of Health, but will also be available on inquiry through multiple channels.