Enterovirus 71 Vaccine Aim to be Launched Next Year|國內研發腸病毒71型疫苗 預計明年上市
Summer and the start of the school year are the peak periods for enterovirus 71 infection among children. Enterovirus 71 can cause serious illness and even death. At present, the mortality rate has been reduced to 2 percent, and a domestically-developed vaccine is currently in the third stage of clinical testing.
The X-ray shows white spots on the lungs. An examination of a computed tomography scan of the brain shows slight swelling. Taiwan experienced its first enterovirus epidemic in 1998, and 78 children infected with enterovirus 71 died. Domestic medical researchers then began studying the virus, and have succeeded in reducing the mortality rate to 2 percent.
The method for treating enterovirus 71 has already been standardized. Every hospital knows what to do, so deaths are not that common anymore, unless a patient receives treatment too late.
Doctors say the enterovirus is primarily transmitted through the fecal-oral route and contact with the respiratory secretions and droplets of an infected person. The virus will replicate within the intestinal tract and then spread to the entire body. Serious cases may lead to encephalitis or even death. At present, two domestic pharmaceuticals are in the third stage of clinical trials for an enterovirus 71 vaccine. If all proceeds smoothly, a vaccine may hit the market in 2020.
After the National Health Research Institutes completed the first stage of clinical trials, it passed it on to two vaccine manufacturers. They are presently in the third stage of clinical trials. However, there is one issue that needs to be discussed first. If both companies launch vaccines, should all children be inoculated? I think we should have a countermeasure in place first.
Doctors say there are cases of enterovirus infection every year. The first wave normally occurs during the summer, and the second wave in September after schools open. Although enterovirus 71 vaccines may soon be available in Taiwan, there are other types of enterovirus that could become threats. New types may emerge as well. Therefore, Taiwan cannot afford to be careless and must remain vigilant in its infection control work.
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