Dengue fever is a growing threat at home and abroad, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned.
CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said on Saturday that the global situation continues to be serious in relation to the mosquito-borne disease, with more recorded cases in Southeast Asia this year than on average.
So far this year, Malaysia has reported 3.7 times the number of cases compared with the same period last year, while the number of Singaporean cases is 3.6 times the country’s five-year average, Chuang said.
Taiwan recorded 62 cases as of Thursday, of which 32 were imported from Indonesia and 16 from Malaysia, while the number of domestic cases stood at 14, he said.
With the plum rain season and a hot summer unfolding, Chuang reminded the public to drain water from unused containers to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Chuang also advised people traveling to Brazil — this year’s soccer World Cup host country — to take precautionary measures, since the South American country had reported more than 300,000 cases as of last month, of which about 2,000 were rated severe.
Meanwhile, Taiwan has expanded a travel alert to China’s Shandong Province, where a human case of the H7N9 avian influenza was recently confirmed, the Mainland Affairs Council said.
The council said that a day earlier the centers had elevated its travel advisory for Shandong from “watch” to the second-highest level, “alert.”
Besides Shandong, there are seven other Chinese provinces currently listed under “alert” — Hunan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Sichuan and Jilin.
The rest of China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, is listed as “watch,” the council said.
The council urged travelers to China to exercise caution and to avoid contact with birds.
Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia are the only places outside China that have reported H7N9 human cases, all of which were imported, the centers said.
The nation has reported four H7N9 human cases so far, the most recent were two confirmed late last month, according to the centers.