The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced three more case of dengue fever in Pingtung County on Sept. 3, saying that along with the three cases in Taipei and one in Greater Kaohsiung discovered on Sept. 2, the total number of locally-acquired cases of dengue fever has reached 95 this year, while the number of imported cases has reached a five-year high at 177. Affecting every area of Taiwan now, most cases are concentrated around urban areas like Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan County, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung, increasing the risk of the disease spreading.
CDC official Liu Ting-ping says that interagency collaboration among the three cities and counties of Taipei, Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County is underway and that all levels of government are reporting to each other so as to prevent any further spread of the disease.
Heavy rain in recent days has increased the amount of water lying around in containers, which Liu says definitely increases the density of carrier mosquitos, probably causing them to multiply faster and become more active than usual. People living in all areas are encouraged to get rid of containers in which water can collect both indoors and outdoors and take the necessary steps to reduce the number of mosquitos, she says. Doctors in the north and south should be more vigilant and wary of suspected cases of the disease and report them.
Cases of enterovirus have been on a steady decline over the past four weeks, moving away from the virus’ peak season, but the epidemic period has still not ended. CDC Deputy Director Chuang Jen-hsiang says that since school is back in session, children are interacting with each other in close proximity again, which is conducive to the spread of enterovirus. Small fluctuations in an epidemic situation are normal, Chuang says, adding that people who work in educational organizations and parents must teach children to adopt good hygiene, making sure that they wash their hands correctly, and never allow sick children to go to school so as to ensure personal health, the health of classmates as well as family members.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)