Dengue fever case confirmed
An indigenous case of dengue fever has been confirmed in Greater Kaohsiung following a group infection in Greater Tainan earlier this month, an official of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday. A 12-year-old boy developed flu-like symptoms, including a fever and a rash, on May 12 and was taken to a hospital, where he tested positive for dengue fever antigen on May 16. However, the boy, who lives in Nanzih District (楠梓), was not confirmed to have dengue fever until Tuesday, said Liu Shih-hao (劉士豪), director of the CDC’s public relations office. The boy’s mother also tested positive for dengue, said Tsai Wu-hsiung (蔡武雄), director of the Kaohsiung Health Department’s Center for Disease Control. The annual high season for dengue fever runs from June through August, Liu said.
Torrential rain causes losses
Agricultural losses have grown to NT$35.05 million (US$1.19 million) in seven counties and cities since May 17, when torrential rain began to batter those areas, Council of Agriculture statistics released yesterday showed. Because of the storm damage, the price of leafy vegetables rose to NT$26 per kilogram in Taipei’s fruit and vegetable wholesale markets from NT$21.5 per kilogram recorded on May 16, according to statistics posted on the council’s Web site. The council said that crop losses in Greater Taichung, Greater Kao-hsiung and Greater Tainan, along with Pingtung, Yunlin, Changhua and Nantou counties, were NT$34.6 million. The area of damage to crop-growing farmland reached 2,290 hectares, accounting for 14 percent of the total.
Lessons for dog owners
Starting next year, would-be dog owners in New Taipei City (新北市) will be eligible for various free services for their pets if they attend a two-hour lesson on how to look after a pet properly, a city official said. The incentives include exemption from pet registration fees and free pet chip IDs, cremation and neutering subsidies worth about NT$4,000, it said. The new regulations will be promoted from the middle of July, after which the public will be encouraged to attend the class, which teaches responsible pet ownership, it said. The purpose of the regulations is to help combat the high level of pet abandonment.
Marriage on the increase
The nation recorded 49,558 marriages between January and last month, an increase of 1.7 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Ministry of the Interior statistics. Among the married couples, 85.7 percent were Taiwanese and 14.3 percent were international marriages, the ministry said. The number of international marriages increased by 0.2 percentage points from the same period last year, the ministry said. The majority of cross-border marriages involved a Chinese spouse (63.1 percent), while Southeast Asian spouses accounted for 22.4 percent and the remaining 14.5 percent were from other countries, it said. The average age of a Taiwanese woman getting married for the first time rose last year to a record 29.4, while the average age of first-time grooms has remained at about 31.8 for the past two years, the data showed. The average age of men who were re-marrying was 44.2 years, while for women it was 38.2, a slight drop compared with 2010.