Epidemiology of upper respiratory infection due to herpes simplex virus type 1 in children in Taiwan during 1997-1999

Shiow Ling Wu, Jen Ren Wang, Hong I. Chen, Li Chun Lu, Hour Young Chen, Shiing Jer Twu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between isolation rate of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and season, age of the child, gender, and disease day and we intend to provide basic epidemiological information about children with respiratory infection caused by HSV-1. Methods: From January 1997 to June 1999, throat swab specimens were collected from children under twelve years with suspected upper respiratory tract infection. Samples were collected from medical centers, area hospitals, local hospitals and private clinics in Taipei, Taichung and Tainan. MDCK and H292 cells line were used for viral isolation; immunofluorescence stain was used to identify HSV-1. Results: A total of 3473 specimens were collected during this period. About 83.7% of the isolates were collected from private clinics, 6.7% from area hospitals, 5.0% from local hospitals and 4.6% from medical centers. There were 844 positive viral isolation including 116 cases of HSV-1. The average isolation rate of HSV-1 was 3.3%. Isolation rates of August (22.9%) and September (11.8%) in 1998 were higher than the rest. Isolation rates between the hospitals of different accredited levels were similar. The age distribution of HSV-1 positive cases showed the patients between 1-3 years had the highest incidence rates (5.0%). The isolation rate between first day to fifth day after symptoms begun showed no significant differences. Conclusions: These results imply that HSV-1 plays an important role in causing acute respiratory infection in children. Infectious disease surveillance system should pay more attention to HSV-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-386
Number of pages7
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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