Wed, Dec 22, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Dengue fever center in southern Taiwan likely to close soon

Staff Writer, with CNA

The command center for dengue fever set up in southern Taiwan in October is expected to close soon, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, following a gradual decrease in the number of patients in Taiwan infected with the mosquito-borne disease.

Although 51 new cases of dengue fever originating in Taiwan were diagnosed last week, it was only one-third the number reached during the peak period, when 150 new cases were reported in a single week, CDC Deputy Director Lin Ting (林頂) said at the agency’s weekly disease monitoring briefing.

“The decision to close the center will be made by command center members, after which a proposal will be passed to the Executive Yuan for approval,” said Lin, who expected the motion to be decided as soon as Friday.

Despite the likely disbanding of the command center, Lin said the situation in Kaohsiung City remained relatively grave, with 40 new dengue fever cases reported there last week, and would require continued attention.

However, he indicated that closing the center would not affect dengue epidemic prevention measures or weaken inter-ministerial efforts to combat the disease.

“There are rising signs of imported cases of dengue sufferers and we fear that it could lead to more dengue hemorrhagic fever due to cross-infection,” said Lin, citing a 70-year-old housewife in Tainan County who contracted dengue hemorrhagic fever last week and is still in intensive care.

Although dengue fever has shown signs of easing, Lin reminded people to take precautions against seasonal influenza, which has claimed 261 lives since July.

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