Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Health

More dengue fever reported

The Center for Disease Control yesterday reported the 15th case of domestically contracted dengue fever this year, raising alarm over the spread of the mosquito-borne disease. The latest case, a 57-year-old female in Pingtung City's Weihsin borough, has been hospitalized. According to health officials, the source of the infection has been identified as the same area as reported in previous cases on Aug. 12 and Aug. 16. However, officials said that this was a type of dengue fever different to that which was discovered in nearby Changan borough last month, which suggested that at least two sources of infection exist. The center said that a task force would be sent to collect blood samples from the 50 houses nearby.

■ Health

Beware of river water

The Center for Disease Control yesterday called

on the public to refrain

from swimming in rivers and streams and to boil water before drinking it, as viruses and bacteria thrive in

the conditions created

by Typhoon Aere. "The

water in flooded areas may

be polluted by overflows

from sewers, septic tanks or floating garbage. Dysentery, typhoid and tetanus are likely to emerge," said Shih Wen-yi (施文儀), the center's deputy director-general. According to the center, the number of infections caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira increased threefold after Typhoon Nari hit in 2001. The bacteria are transmitted by contaminated water coming into contact with skin lacerations. The center

also urged people to wear waterproof boots and gloves when cleaning up slime and muck in their community, and to boil cooking utensils that have been immersed in water. Frozen food that thawed during power failures should be discarded to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal illness, the center said.

■ Constitution

Key bill promulgated

Legislative Speaker Wang

Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday posted the promulgation document of the newly-passed constitutional amendment bill at the Legislative Yuan. According

to Article 1 of the Additional Articles to the Constitution, the promulgation period

will be six months, ending on

Feb. 26 next year. Article 1

also stipulates that mission-oriented National Assembly representatives should be elected to ratify the bill within three months of the end of the promulgation period. After the representatives have been elected and confirmed, they have to convene within 10 days. The representative meeting can last up to one month. Consequently, it is estimated that the National Assembly representatives will ratify the bill in July next year at the latest.

■ Education

Foreign students on the way

Twenty-four Paraguayan students who were awarded scholarships to study

in Taiwan left home

on Wednesday. The scholarships have been

set up under a program established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education to invite select students from around the world to study in Taiwan. Several Paraguayan scholarship recipients have already completed their Chinese language courses

in Taiwan and will study

at three different national universities from next semester. Paraguay is Taiwan's only diplomatic

ally in South America. The Taiwan scholarship program offers each recipient a round-trip plane ticket and NT$30,000 (US$882) per month for a five-year term -- one year for language courses and four years for study at a university.

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