Tue, Mar 09, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Kaohsiung launches anti-dengue cleanup


The Kaohsiung City Government will launch a weekly clean-up project to prevent the spread of dengue fever starting Thursday

Deputy Mayor Lin Yun-chien (林永堅) said at a meeting yesterday that the city-wide community-based cleanup project is aimed at eradicating the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

"Starting this week, all schools and communities will have to clean their environment every Thursday at 4pm to eliminate all possible breeding grounds for mosquitoes spreading dengue fever," he said.

Lin said that he would suggest that Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties launch similar measures.

The city's Environmental Protection Bureau yesterday began to carry out a disinfection project in all ditches in the city. Workers will also disinfect empty buildings.

Officials said that the cleanup project was important because temperatures will soon be higher and the rainy season would begin next month.

Officials said that a dengue epidemic has been worsening in many Asian countries so Taiwan should remain on high alert.

Indonesia had reported 14,626 cases in 22 provinces as of Feb 26. In Sri Lanka had reported 11 cases as of Feb 17, including one death.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there has been only one confirmed case in this country of someone contacting dengue abroad since Jan. 1.

A Kaohsiung City resident returned from Thailand on Feb 8 and developed a fever on Feb 10.

Kaohsiung's health officials said that if people made an effort to keep their homes clean this could help prevent dengue.

A survey on the distribution of mosquito in the city shows that only eight boroughs should be on alert and they are located in the Sanmin, Lingya, Hsiaokang and Kushan districts. The most serious one is Chengyi borough in Lingya district.

Last year 31 cases of dengue were reported in Kaohsiung -- compared to the 4,014 cases in Singapore, 2,120 cases in the Philippines and more than 30,000 cases in Thailand.

Dengue epidemics occurred in Taiwan in 1915, 1931 and 1942. The disease did not reappear in this country until early 1980s.

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