The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said dengue fever was spreading to northern parts of the country, with nine new cases confirmed in Taipei County last week, of which three were indigenous.
Two of the indigenous cases were in Wugu Township (五股) and the other in Sanchong City (三重), CDC Deputy Director Lin Ting (林頂) said.
Health officials were closely monitoring the situation in Wugu, where eight of the total 11 indigenous cases confirmed in Taipei County have occurred and where more cases are expected amid signs of a cluster infection.
Of the more than 800 indigenous cases reported since August, 11 were from Taipei County, two in Taipei City, one in Taoyuan County and the remainder concentrated in Kaohsiung, Tainan and other parts of the south, Lin said.
The CDC announced the establishment of a central epidemic command center last week to deal with the outbreak, which hit southern parts of the country in the summer.
Although only a small number of isolated cases have been reported in the north in recent weeks, officials said they remained on the alert and would pay close attention to any signs the disease is moving northward.
To this end, the Department of Health has set up a dengue screening station to provide free blood tests.
The CDC said residents in the north, especially in Wugu, should not be complacent, even if the incidence remains low.
Health officials also advised residents to keep living areas clean and dry, especially given the heavy rain experienced in recent days, because mosquitoes carrying the virus tend to proliferate in places and containers where water accumulates.
While the CDC expects the number of infections to drop slightly as the weather becomes cooler, health officials were still taking precautions to minimize the chances of the disease re-emerging after winter.
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