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Taiwan records third Japanese encephalitis case

TAIPEI--Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday announced the year's third case of Japanese encephalitis, after two were confirmed earlier this week.

The patient is a 50-year-old man in Southern Taiwan's Chiayi City, who remains in critical condition after being taken to hospital June 18.

The two other indigenous cases were identified earlier this week: a 52-year-old man in the central municipality of Taichung and a 46-year-old man in the southern municipality of Tainan.

Japanese encephalitis usually becomes prevalent between May and October and peaks in June and July each year, according to the CDC.

Among the 16 confirmed cases last year, 11 were identified in June, while 15 of the 32 cases in 2012 were also identified in that same month.

The CDC advised the public to get vaccinated and to avoid mosquito bites. Personal preventive measures include the use of repellents, long-sleeved clothes, mosquito coils and vaporizers.

According to the World Health Organization, most Japanese encephalitis infections are mild or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections result in severe disease characterized by rapid onset of high fever, headache and death.

The mortality rate can be as high as 30 percent among those who display symptoms.

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