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Consular services - travel advice: Taiwan - health warning

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26 June 1998

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade_wishes to advise that an epidemic of an enteroviral infection (number 71) has been reported in Taiwan. The infection has the most severe effect in children under the age of 12. To date at least 50 children have died, mainly in the under 5 year old age group.

While viruses, such as these, are common amongst children during summer months this epidemic is particularly hazardous. Contracting the virus can be minimised by strict attention to personal and food hygiene. There are no vaccines or medications available to prevent contracting the illness.

Avoiding areas where a large number of children visit will also minimise the risk. Potential travellers should seek advice from their medical practitioner or a specialised travel medicine clinic before departure. Medical and travel insurance is strongly recommended.

In these circumstances, we have been advised that the Australian Commerce and Industry Office (AGIO) in Taipei has approved the elective departure of at-risk dependents of its staff until the incidence of the disease declines to an acceptable level.

Australians intending to travel to Taiwan may seek further advice from the Australian r Commerce and Industry Office (AGIO) Suite 2608, 26th Floor, International Trade building, 333 Keelung Road, Section 1 Taipei 110, Taiwan. Telephone: (886 2) 2720 2833 Fax (886 2) 7576074 or from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra on (02) 6261 3305.

NB: While every care has been taken in preparing this travel information for travellers, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees including any member o f Australia’s consular staff abroad, can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in respect o f any statement contained therein.

Consular Services, including information for travellers and Travel Advices are also available from the Department’s Homepage on the Internet, address:

Media releases and sp eech es are available from DFAT via the internet,