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Enteroviruses prevention: Practice the 5 steps of effective hand-washing

Enteroviruses are contagious and can easily spread in crowded areas and where people have frequent interactions with each other. Both adults and children are at risk of infection. It is common for adults to be infected by enteroviruses but not experience visible symptoms (or only symptoms similar to minor colds) and carry the viruses home and infected infants and children.

Enteroviruses are mainly transmitted via direct contact with viruses shed from the gastrointestinal or respiratory tract. The virus can also be transmitted by touching a patient’s blisters and secretions. Enteroviruses can be found in respiratory tracts and stool even before the symptoms show, and it is highly contagious. Enteroviruses are most contagious in the first week after symptoms appear. The virus can be shed in the stool of infected people even 8 to 12 weeks after recovery. Recovered patients should continue to pay attention to hand hygiene and practice effective handwashing steps (wet, scrub, rinse, cup, and dry) to prevent spreading the virus to infants and children.

The Centers for Disease Control stated that because infants and children under the age of 5 do not yet have fully developed immune systems, they have a higher risk of developing severe diseases, including meningitis, encephalitis, myocarditis, pericarditis, pneumonia, and acroparalysis. Those returning home from the outside should change their clothes and wash their hands properly before hugging and feeding infants or children. If infants or children at home exhibit sleepiness, unconsciousness, excessive tiredness, limb weakness and numbness, muscle cramping (similar to the shock of sudden muscle contraction), continuous vomiting, or rapid breathing and heartbeats, go to a hospital and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control website (https://www.cdc.gov.tw), or call the toll-free disease prevention hotline at1922 (or 0800-001922).

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