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Taiwan CDC urges public to clean up and remove vector-breeding sites to prevent transmission of dengue fever as dengue cases increase

On August 11, 2011, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) confirmed the third indigenous case of dengue fever that occurred in Taiwan this year. The case is a 65-year-old male who resides in Fuhai Village, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City. This is the second indigenous dengue case confirmed in Kaohsiung City in 2011. Upon receiving the report of the case, the local health authority immediately conducted an epidemiologic investigation and a thorough cleaning of vector breeding sites as well as implemented necessary disease control measures at and around the case’s residence and places frequently visited by the case. On August 5, the case developed symptoms such as fever and headache. On the following day, the case sought medical attention at the emergency department at a hospital. However, his symptoms persisted. On August 8, he sought further medical attention at the same hospital. On August 9, he was reported to the health authority as a suspected dengue case by the hospital. On August 10, dengue fever was confirmed in the case. According to the epidemiological investigation, the case has ranged mainly around his residence besides visiting a traditional market prior to his disease onset. In addition, he used to go cycling everyday at a park near his residence before becoming infected with dengue fever. The epidemiological investigation has also shown that this case is not related to the first indigenous case confirmed in Kaohsiung City and they are two sporadic cases. According to past surveillance data, dengue activity most often peaked in August in Taiwan. Taiwan CDC urges the public to voluntarily remove standing water, clean up vector breeding sites and reduce the number of water-storage containers in and around residences at least once a week to prevent the spread of dengue fever. According to Article 70 of the Communicable Disease Control Act, anyone who refuses, evades or obstructs disease control measures such as inspection decided by competent authorities or fails to notify the competent authorities of the presence of vector breeding sites that is later identified by competent authorities or clean up vector breeding sites as requested by competent authorities may be fined NT$ 3,000 up to NT$ 15,000. Taiwan CDC emphasizes if symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, retroorbital pain, myalgia, and arthragia develop, please seek immediate medical attention and inform the doctor of any recent travel history and activity to facilitate prompt diagnosis and implementation of subsequent measures that prevent further spread of the disease. Taiwan CDC also urges physicians to remain vigilant against dengue fever and report a patient to the health authority if he/she develops suspected symptoms. For any questions or further information on dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever, please call the toll-free Communicable Disease Case Reporting and Consultation Hotline 1922, or visit the Taiwan CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov.tw/english/index.aspx. Source:Centers for Disease Control, R.O.C.(Taiwan)