Enterovirus epidemic in Taiwan

Health officials are reporting a 20 percent increase in people diagnosed with enterovirus (intestinal viruses) infections. These commonly found viruses cause several illnesses such as hand, foot and mouth disease. However, included in this group are people infected with enterovirus EV71 that can cause serious neurological illness, especially in children. So far, more than 25,000 enterovirus cases have been diagnosed, but the number due to EV71 is not clear.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.

Advice For Travellers

There are at least 71 types of enteroviruses that affect millions of people worldwide each year. They are often found in the respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) and stool of an infected person. While the risk of infection will vary from place to place, especially with EV71, small children are most susceptible to infection with this virus. Travellers who are travelling with small children can decrease the risk of exposure to hand, foot and mouth disease virus by washing hands frequently and by maintaining careful personal hygiene.