Health and Science

Handwashing critical to avoid infecting children

SALMONELLA: A 10-day-old infant who had serious complications likely got it from their parents, who did not thoroughly wash their hands after handling raw meat

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 17, 2020
By: Lin Hui-chin / Staff reporter

Parents should wash their hands thoroughly before feeding toddlers, doctors at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said after a 10-day-old infant became critically ill due to salmonella infection.

The hospital recently admitted three cases of infants less than one year old who had serious salmonella gastroenteritis, with the youngest — 10 days old — developing serious complications, including necrotizing enterocolitis, gastrointestinal perforation, peritonitis and septicemia.

Salmonellosis is most common between July and October, and it is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked food, or drinking contaminated water, hospital deputy superintendent Chiu Cheng-hsun (邱政洵) said.

Most people with salmonellosis suffer acute gastroenteritis, and children younger than five, especially infants less than one year old, are the most susceptible to salmonella infection, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese couple tests positive for Covid-19 after returning from Bangladesh

The Daily Star
Date: June 17, 2020

Star Online Report

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on June 15 announced two new imported cases of coronavirus from Bangladesh.

The CECC posted the announcement on its website where they reported that two Taiwanese citizens who returned from Bangladesh over the weekend have tested positive for Covid-19. According to the website, the patients — a couple termed cases 444 and 445 – had already been diagnosed and recovered from Covid-19 while in Bangladesh, but tested positive after they entered Taiwan.

The couple flew to Malaysia from Bangladesh on June 12 and returned to Taiwan on a chartered flight from Malaysia on June 13. They wore masks and coveralls during the flight and did not come into contact with their friends or relatives after entry.

According to the CECC, Case No 444 first developed a fever, cough, sore throat and muscle ache on May 23 and case 445 first experienced a fever on May 25.

Both were diagnosed with coronavirus and were hospitalised while still in Bangladesh. Case 444 was asymptomatic by May 26 and tested negative on May 28 and June 2, while case 445 tested negative on June 2.    [FULL  STORY]

Consuming alcohol, poor diet linked to liver cancer

RISK FACTOR: If left untreated, a fatty liver can increase the chance of developing cirrhosis or liver cancer by 10 to 20 percent, a doctor at Cathay General Hospital said

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 07, 2020
By: Yang Yuan-chi and Lo Chi / Staff reporters

About 20 percent of Taiwanese with liver cancer also have a diagnosis of fatty liver disease or alcoholic liver disease, Taiwan Cancer Registry data showed.

One in four people worldwide have fatty liver disease, while the incidence rate in Taiwan ranges between 11.4 percent and 41 percent, reports released by the National Health Research Institutes showed.

The main causes of fatty liver disease are high cholesterol and ineffective diabetes self-management, which are often related to being overweight and drinking too much alcohol.

The WHO defines being overweight as a chronic condition, and people who are overweight for a long period are more likely to be diagnosed with fatty liver disease and to experience diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, gout and osteoarthritis — and at almost twice the frequency of those with a healthy weight, Health Promotion Administration Cancer Prevention and Control Division Director Lin Li-ju (林莉茹) said on Friday.    [FULL  STORY]

China firmly opposes U.S. TAIPEI Act, urges proper handling of issue

Date: 05-Mar-2020

China on Thursday expressed its resolute opposition to the approval of the TAIPEI Act, calling the move a severe violation of the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques, and urged the U.S. to handle the issue properly with concrete actions.

The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed S. 1678, the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act. The act, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, intended to strengthen "Taiwan's position on the international stage" as a "key ally in the region" and encourage allies and partners of the U.S. to "strengthen their diplomatic ties with Taipei."

The act was resolutely opposed by the Chinese side as it not only breaches the one-China principle but also the international law and the basic norms of international relations, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry told reporters on Thursday.

China has long been opposed to any form of official exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S., Zhao said, urging the U.S. side to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques, as they are the political foundation of the bilateral relations.

WUHAN VIRUS / Musician who performed in Taiwan believed to be Aussie COVID-19 case

Focus Taiwan
Date: 03/05/2020
By: Chang Ming-hsuan, Yu Hsiao-han, Wang Shu-fen and Evelyn Kao

National Concert Hall (Photo courtesy of a private contributor)

Taipei, March 5 (CNA) An Australian man who arrived in Taiwan on Feb. 23 from the United Kingdom before leaving on an EVA Airways flight on March 2 is believed to be the same person Australia confirmed this week as a case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday.

The man, a musician who performed in the National Concert Hall in Taipei on the evening of Feb. 28 and the afternoon of March 1, was confirmed by the Australian authorities as a new coronavirus case after he disembarked from EVA Air's BR315 flight that departed from Taipei on March 2, the domestic airline said, citing a notice issued by the Australian health authorities.

The CECC said it has been investigating the 58-year-old man, who departed from London Feb. 22 and entered Taiwan the next day after transiting through Bangkok.

He sought medical attention at a clinic on Feb. 27 after developing a cough and a runny nose before leaving Taiwan Monday on the EVA Airways flight, according to the CECC.

How to tell if a cold is COVID-19

It’s probably just a cold, but you should still cover your coughs.

Popular Science
Date:\ February 28, 2020
By: Rachel Feltman

If you’re sick, try to stay home.Unsplash

The CDC calling the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 across the United States “inevitable” has understandably triggered a decent amount of anxiety. While COVID-19—which is thought to have originated in Wuhan, China back in December after jumping from an as-yet-unconfirmed animal host—has a troubling fatality rate of around 2 percent (based on current estimates), the vast majority of people who contract the virus experience only mild, cold-like symptoms. In fact, it’s quite possible that the disease’s fatality rate is artificially inflated; with so many confirmed cases featuring mild symptoms, it’s likely that there are many COVID-19 cases going totally unnoticed.

If you get COVID-19, you’re unlikely to get seriously sick and even less likely to die, especially if you are otherwise healthy. But that raises a troubling question that’s difficult to answer: How do you know if your seasonal sniffles might actually be COVID-19? Here’s a handy guide.

What symptoms does COVID-19 have?

First things first: What symptoms should you look out for?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.    [FULL  STORY]

630 Taiwanese students stuck in China, Hong Kong and Macau because of coronavirus

Ministry of Education will organize exams for students in China

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/02/27
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The return to school in Taiwan on Feb. 25  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Even though classes at primary and elementary schools resumed Tuesday (Feb. 25), an estimated 630 Taiwanese students have not returned because they are stuck in China, Hong Kong or Macau due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Ministry of Education said Thursday (Feb. 27).

Only when the spread of the virus infections has subsided, will the government consider whether they can return home, CNA quoted Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) as saying.

He added that the ministry is assisting schools in contacting the students and providing them with digital learning methods and classes using live streaming.

Pan said he wants to put students at ease by telling them that the ministry has already prepared how to organize examinations in China, especially for those about to undertake the step from the lower secondary to the high-school level.    [FULL  STORY]

Talks on 2nd flight to evacuate Taiwanese from Wuhan stalled due to Chinese obstruction: Health minister

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said plan to evacuate Taiwanese remaining in Hubei has been stalled by Chinese government excuses

Taiwan News
Date: 0020/02/16
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The China Eastern evacaation flight arrives at Taoyuan International Airporot on Feb. 3.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Negotiations for a second flight to evacuate stranded Taiwanese from Wuhan, China, epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, have been unfruitful, which Taiwan’s health minister blames on China's obstruction, CNA reported on Saturday (Feb. 15).

A group of relatives of the Taiwanese still stranded in China’s Hubei Province protested in front of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Friday, blaming the government for not being able to bring their loved ones home and hoping that the MAC would announce an evacuation plan before Monday, according to CNA.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Friday that the plan to evacuate remaining Taiwanese from Hubei via a second charter flight followed by quarantine had been in place for some time. However, the plan was stalled by the Chinese government after a variety of excuses, including a demand to follow the model of the first evacuation flight by using China Eastern Airlines instead of Taiwan's China Airlines as well as a demand to transport 890 Taiwanese over two days, the report said.

CNA quoted sources familiar with the situation as saying that right after the first evacuation flight on Feb. 3, Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency reported on a plan lacking Taiwan's consultation in which China Eastern would carry out a total of four flights from Feb. 4th to Feb. 5th, flying out 890 Taiwanese.    [FULL  STORY]

Team makes Alzheimer’s find

STUDY: People with Alzheimer’s who had three or more of the risk factors linked to cerebrovascular disease performed worse in the Mini-Mental State Examination

Taipei Times
Date: Feb 16, 2020
By: Tsai Shu-yuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A collaborative research project by Taichung Veterans General Hospital and Taipei Veterans General

Lee Wei-ju, a doctor from Taichung Veterans General Hospital’s Dementia and Alzheimer Treatment Center, points to a brain scan at the hospital on Thursday.
Photo copied by Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times

Hospital has found that if measures could be introduced to prevent or cure cerebrovascular disease, it could help prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

One percent of people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s, Lee Wei-ju (李威儒), a doctor from Taichung Veterans General Hospital’s Dementia and Alzheimer Treatment Center, said on Thursday.

With every year after 65, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases 2 to 5 percent, Lee said.

Alzheimer’s is most often seen as a kind of dementia and there is still no cure for it, he said.

Product warning issued for weight loss drug Belvic: FDA

Focus Taiwan
Date: 02/14/2020
By: Chen Wei-ting and Matthew Mazzetta

Image taken from

Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday issued a product warning for the weight loss drug Belviq, after American medical authorities reported on Thursday that clinical trials on the drug's active ingredient, lorcaserin, showed an increased risk of several types of cancer.

In a statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said clinical testing on individuals taking lorcaserin showed a higher frequency of pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancers.

After being notified of the trial data, the drug's manufacturer, Ensai Inc., submitted a request to voluntarily withdraw it from the market, the statement said.

On Friday evening, FDA division chief Hung Kuo-teng (洪國登) told CNA that only one product containing lorcaserin — 10 milligram doses of the weight loss drug Belviq — was approved for sale in Taiwan.