First cases of Japanese encephalitis in Taiwan and zika in Singapore
In the Ahlien district of the city of Kaohsiung, a 56-year-old peasant woman was diagnosed as the first case of Japanese encephalitis in 2016. She had a fever on May 5, 2016, was hospitalized on May 6, 2016, and was diagnosed on May 12, 2016, as the first case of Japanese encephalitis in Taiwan in 2016. There is a chicken coop 50 meters from where she lives, a pig pen and rice fields 2 kilometers from where she lives. Japanese encephalitis is spread by the household mosquitos that breed in rice fields. Japanese encephalitis occurs from May to October on Taiwan, and its spread reaches a peak in June and July. In 2011, Taiwan had 22 cases of Japanese encephalitis, and there were 32 cases in 2012, 16 cases in 2013, 18 cases in 2014, and 30 cases in 2015. Japanese encephalitis affects adults 30 to 59 years old.
Meanwhile in Singapore, a 48-year-old male who recently returned from Brazil showed zika symptoms on May 10, 2016, was quarantined on May 12, and was diagnosed as having zika infection on May 13. This is the first case of zika in Singapore.
Taiwan’s medical service is very advanced and it has universal health coverage. On May 13, 2016, the designated minister of health and welfare Lin Tso-yen met with representatives Martin Eberts of Germany, Chris Wood of England, Madeleine Majorenko of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan, and Benoit Guidee of France. The expressed support for Taiwan to participate in the WHA as observer.
But because of the damn “one China” framework, Taiwan cannot participate as a full member. Ironically, the “support” expressed by these representatives for Taiwan is somehow shy of enthusiastic support.