Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (VI)

Chi-Hsin Sally Chen1, Tsun-Jen Cheng  2

 

Master of Public Health Program, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan
Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan


 

Received: May 20, 2020
Revised: July 31, 2020
Accepted: August 12, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.


Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0248  

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Cite this article:

Chen, C.H.S. and Cheng, T.J. (2020). Reduction of Influenza and Enterovirus Infection in Taiwan during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 2071–2074. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0248


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Taiwan’s 2019-2020 seasonal influenza activities ended early compared to previous two seasons.
  • Enterovirus infections in Taiwan in 2020 has dropped significantly compared to the past two years.
  • NPI measures for COVID-19 may contribute to influenza and enterovirus infection reduction.
 

ABSTRACT


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is believed to be transmitted through respiratory droplets, aerosols, and contact. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has implemented timely and accurate non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) measures on a national level (i.e., border control, quarantine and isolation, contact tracing, delay of school opening, and suspension of mass gatherings), and promoted personal hygiene habits to the public (i.e., frequent hand washing with soap, face masks wearing). Consequently, as of July 27, Taiwan has had relatively low number of confirmed cases (458) and deaths (7), and no locally transmitted cases for more than 30 consecutive days. We observed from data collected via Taiwan National Infectious Disease Statistics System that during the COVID-19 pandemic, outpatient visits for other infectious diseases such as influenza, which is also transmitted through droplets, aerosols, and contact, and enterovirus infections, transmitted via faecal-oral route or respiratory transmissions, have reduced significantly compared to previous two years. Epidemic trend for both diseases have also changed, with seasonal influenza activities ending weeks earlier than it did in 2018 and 2019, and lack of increase in enterovirus infections that is usually witnessed at the end of March. Our observation suggest the NPI measures and personal hygiene habits enforced against the COVID-19 pandemic may have inadvertently “flattened the curve” for influenza and enterovirus infections as well. This may indirectly relieve the stress on Taiwan’s health system and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. More information will be needed to verify this hypothesis.


Keywords: COVID-19; Taiwan; Influenza; Enterovirus Infection; Non-pharmaceutical interventions.



Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20 :2071 -2074 . https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0248  


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