Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Minister urges care when trying to get rid of dengue pests

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter

Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏), accompanied by government officials, combed two boroughs in Greater Kaohsiung on Saturday afternoon where cases of dengue fever were reported last week and urged the public to be cautious when enforcing disease control.

Cases of indigenous dengue fever were identified in Lingya District (苓雅) earlier this month, with more than 32 cases confirmed before Friday, while sporadic cases have been reported in the nearby districts of Fengshan (鳳山) and Hsinhsing (新興).

Shen and officials from the Department of Health, the Greater Kaohsiung Government and local townships visited Lingya’s Fushou Borough (福壽) and Fengshan’s Jhengyi Borough (正義) to assess conditions in the areas.

“The breeding sources of the disease vector [mosquitoes] should be cleaned up to prevent dengue fever from spreading further,” Shen said, adding that “people should clean up again and again, examine again and again” to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds.

He said the EPA would reinforce its supervision and check-ups, and that violations of public heath regulations would result in fines stipulated by the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法).

The EPA launched inspections in 22 cities and counties in May and last month, and eliminated 5,920 outdoor and 983 indoor breeding sources, the EPA said in a press release after Shen’s inspection.

The EPA said it would organize clean-up inspections in Greater Tainan, Greater Kaohsiung, Pingtung County, Chiayi County and Chiayi City this month and next month.

It urged the public to clean water containers, which are often a breeding source of mosquitoes, and maintain household cleanliness.

The EPA said fever, headaches, severere joint pains and sore muscles were typical symptoms of dengue fever and that anyone who developed these symptoms should immediately consult a doctor.

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