Tue, Jul 04, 2006 - Page 2 News List

DOH issues dengue fever warning for southern Taiwan

MENACE The number of mosquitoes carrying the virus is much higher than last year, with Kaohsiung, Pingtung and Taitung the worst-affected areas

CNA , TAIPEI

The Department of Health (DOH) issued a dengue fever alert for southern Taiwan, including the coastline of Taitung County, as recent high temperatures have rapidly increased the number of mosquitoes.

DOH data showed that during the first three weeks of last month, the towns and villages across Taiwan where dengue mosquito density had risen above level four had almost doubled from the same period last year.

Density

Of all cities and counties nationwide, Kaohisung City and County, Pingtung County and Taitung County were the top four in terms of dengue mosquito density, the DOH said.

It said buckets, vases and basins for flowerpots were the top three spots where mosquitoes were found.

In recent years, the type of mosquitoes that can infect humans with the dengue virus have been found to be breeding in the upper layers of ditches and mud pools, the DOH said.

Disinfectants

The DOH advised people to clean their living environment and cooperate with local health authorities in using disinfectants, warning that those failing to do so could be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000.

It cautioned people planning to travel to Southeast Asian countries, as 28 cases have been reported this year of the dengue virus being contracted in the area and brought back to Taiwan.

People intending to travel to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are advised to wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers and use insect repellant, the DOH said.

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