Tue, Jul 14, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Clean-up program keeps Kaohsiung City free of dengue

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Dancers dressed in costumes that highlight the maritime, folklore and Aboriginal cultures of Kaohsiung rehearse yesterday for the opening ceremony of the World Games on Thursday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHUNG-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

With three days to go in the countdown to the World Games in Kaohsiung, the city government said yesterday there had been no reports of indigenous dengue fever since December.

In preparation for the Games, the city’s Public Health Bureau and Environmental Protection Bureau and local residents have stepped up efforts to clean up the competition venues, hotels, domestic residences and surrounding environs to eradicate the mosquito that carries the dengue virus, said Ho Chi-kung (何啟功), director of the city’s Public Health Bureau.

NO NEW CASES

Ho said that no new cases of indigenous dengue fever had been reported in Kaohsiung over the past eight months and his bureau was making an all out effort to prevent and wipe out dengue fever this year.

About six months ago, the bureau launched a campaign to promote the use of fish for biological control of mosquitoes. Local residents were advised to raise belly fish or guppies, which eat mosquito larvae, in some 100 designated man-made containers, Ho said.

Bureau inspectors have conducted weekly check-ups and found no mosquito larvae in the containers, Ho said.

This method of mosquito control is one of the safest, most effective long-standing methods of preventing the spread of dengue fever, Ho said.

He also reminded the public to continue taking preventive measures against the infectious disease and to immediately seek medical assistance if dengue fever symptoms, such as muscle and joint pain, rashes, or fever should appear.

The city is making an extra effort this year to prevent any outbreaks of dengue fever as it prepares to host the World Games starting on Thursday.

VISITORS

The event is expected to attract 60,000 visitors from around the world, including 4,000 athletes from about 100 countries, who will be competing in 26 official and five invitational sports events at 23 competition venues.

A total of 23 hotels and three restaurants have been designated for use by the athletes.

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