For the first time, Kaoshiung's daily COVID tally surpassed that of Taipei, after the southern port city reported nealy 7400 cases on the 23rd. Meanwhile, experts say young patients under the age of 10 have a high risk of developing encephalitis as a complication, and remind parents to stay cautious.
The local epidemic continues to spread, but the confirmed diagnosis curve between Central and Southern Taiwan has crossed with the northern part of the country. On Monday the 23rd, Kaohsiung's newly confirmed cases surpassed Taipei for the first time, with the entire country recording more than 60,000 locally confirmed cases. Some experts said this means that Taiwan's epidemic situation has reached synchronization, but they are worried that there are more elderly people in the central and southern regions. Infection control in long-term care facilities must also be focused on in order to reduce the risks of severe illness and death.
Huang Li-min, Honorary Chairperson, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “If the epidemic spreads to Central and Southern Taiwan, we must pay attention to older citizens and try not to get them infected. They must take medicine as soon as possible after infection. We must especially pay attention to long-term care facilities because infection control at these facilities is usually not as strict as in a hospital.”
Meanwhile, children are, of course, not immune to the disease. According to the Central Epidemic Command Center, among 14 severe cases of children, 6 were complicated by encephalitis. According to a doctor's analysis, enterovirus 71 is complicated by severe encephalitis. The course of the disease is about three or four days. However, the speed of COVID pneumonia complicated by encephalitis is extremely fast. Violent encephalitis occurs almost on the day of onset. The reason remains to be determined.
Lee Ping-ing, Specialist Advisory Panel Member, CECC: “When enterovirus 71 is severe, a patient will most likely be at risk of severe illness about three to four days after the onset of the disease. The recent COVID virus is like this too. That is, after a patient gets sick, could the virus go to the brain through nerves? We need further research to clarify.”
Experts remind parents that if there are children under the age of five in the family, try to reduce unnecessary social activities. Adults and children should enact good health protection, and family members who can be vaccinated should do so. If a child has a high fever of more than 41 degrees, and shows signs of severe symptoms such as poor consciousness and convulsions, the child should be taken to the doctor immediately.