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Taiwan CDC urges physicians and public to stay vigilant against dengue fever as another death from dengue hemorrhagic fever occurs

On December 20, 2011, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced this year’s eighteenth indigenous case of dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is also the fifth death caused by the disease in Taiwan. The case was a 48-year-old female who resided in Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City and had a history of chronic diseases. Although the weather has gotten colder recently and the peak of the dengue epidemic has passed, indigenous cases of dengue fever continue to such as removing the vector breeding sources in order to prevent transmission of the disease. According to Taiwan CDC, the 48-year-old female had a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, end stage renal disease (ESRD) and coronary artery disease. Prior to her disease onset, she had been on dialysis three days a week. On December 6, she developed symptoms, including fever, dry mouth and tongue, vomiting, nausea, and general malaise. On December 8, she sought medical attention at the emergency department at a medical center in Southern Taiwan. On December 12, she was reported to the health authority as a suspected case of dengue fever. On December 13, she was hospitalized for further treatment as her symptoms worsened. On December 16, she was transferred to the intensive care unit and specimens were collected from the patient. Dengue fever was later confirmed in the case. Due to the fact that she developed symptoms such as gastrointestinal bleeding and a drop in her platelet count during hospitalization, she was reported to the health authority as a suspected case of dengue hemorrhagic fever on December 17. On the same day, she passed away due to sepsis and myocardial infarction. According to statistics compiled by Taiwan CDC, all five deaths cause by dengue hemorrhagic fever this year had a history of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and gout. Currently, about tens of indigenous cases of dengue fever occur each week in southern Taiwan. To prevent the worsening of chronic diseases due to dengue infection, Taiwan CDC once again urges the public to stay vigilant and take necessary measures such as draining water containers and cleaning up vector breeding sites around their residences as well as preventing mosquito bites to effectively prevent the spread of dengue fever and protect their own health and the health of their family. Taiwan CDC also advises the public to seek immediate medical attention when suspected symptoms such as fever, headache, malaise, back eye socket pain, muscle ache or joint ache, and inform the doctor of any recent travel history and medical history to facilitate diagnosis. 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)