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As summer vacation approaches and enterovirus cases continue to increase, parents of infants and young children and childcare center personnel urged to strengthen prevention of enterovirus infection and wash hands often

According to surveillance data collected by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC), the hospital emergency department visits for enterovirus infection continue to increase, reaching 5.99 per 1000 population, and the epidemic shows no signs of abating. Although coxsackievirus is the enterovirus currently circulating in the community, Taiwan CDC continues to detect mild cases of enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection, showing that a moderate epidemic of EV 71 infection has begun to spread. The public is urged to take precautions against enterovirus. As the weather continues to remain hot and enterovirus activity continues to remain at high levels, Taiwan CDC would like to remind families with infants and young children aged below 5 and childcare center personnel to remain vigilant against enterovirus infection and wash hands properly and frequently to prevent infection. Taiwan CDC will continue to monitor the situation very closely. Even though schools at all levels are subsequently closed for summer break, opportunities for students to participate in after-school programs, summer camps and other summer programs increase and most private child-care centers remain open during summer break. Taiwan CDC would like to remind both parents and childcare center personnel to pay attention to personal and child hygiene and wash hands frequently to effectively decrease the chance of enterovirus infection. If children develop suspected symptoms, please bring them to the pediatric department at major hospitals for immediate medical attention to ensure prompt treatment. In light of the approaching summer vacation, Taiwan CDC recommends the following precautions to help effectively prevent enterovirus infection: 1. Continue to pay attention to personal, home and environmental hygiene. Reinforce hand washing before meals or snacks and after going to the bathroom. Ensure children eat well-balanced meals, get enough exercise, and have plenty of sleep to boost their immune system. 2. To reduce possible close contacts with suspected patients, parents are advised against taking children to crowded indoor spaces and encouraged to take their children to the outdoor. In addition, both parents and children are urged to pay attention to hygiene and wash hands frequently when out in the public. 3. When a child is suspected of enterovirus infection, please assist the child in seeking immediate medical attention and ensure the child receive treatment according to the doctor’s instructions. If someone in the household is infected with enterovirus, please refrain the sick person from close contact with other healthy children to prevent further spread of the disease. For more information about enterovirus, please call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922, operated by Taiwan CDC or visit the Taiwan CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw/english/index.aspx. Source:Centers for Disease Control, R.O.C.(Taiwan)