Haiti gets donation
Taiwan has donated money to help Haiti combat a mosquito-borne viral disease that has affected tens of thousands of people in the country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. More than 39,000 Haitians have been confirmed as having Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, Department of Latin American Caribbean Affairs Deputy Director-General Florencia Hsie (謝妙宏) said. “The ministry donated US$100,000 to sponsor Haiti’s program to combat the disease,” she said. The focus of the program is to sterilize the environment to prevent the reproduction of the mosquitoes that can transmit the disease, she said. Chikungunya causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, fatigue and rashes. There is no cure and treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms.
Weather delays festival
Today’s opening of the annual Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival in New Taipei City has been postponed until tomorrow because of the passage of Typhoon Neoguri toward Okinawa, the organizer announced yesterday. The five-day event, one of most popular music festivals in the nation, is being held on a beach in Gongliao District (貢寮). The New Taipei City Tourism and Travel Department said the performance schedule for today through Sunday would not be changed, but the shows scheduled for today would be moved to Monday. Pop diva A Mei (阿妹) will perform on Sunday, the department said. The Central Weather Bureau said Neoguri weakened yesterday and is moving from the Japan’s Ryukyu Island chain toward Kyushu.
Changhua ups bird-flu fight
Changhua County strengthened its efforts to prevent bird flu outbreaks by introducing new equipment yesterday that will help keep areas where chickens are raised free of the virus. The county’s Animal Disease Control Center unveiled two new vehicles that are capable of disinfecting farms where domesticated birds are raised, adding to the four vehicles already in service, Deputy County Commissioner Lin Tien-fu (林田富) said. Lin said that while there have not been any reports of major flu outbreaks in the county, Changhua would not get complacent in taking precautions against the highly contagious bird flu, because Taiwan is situated on routes used by migratory birds. Reinforcing anti-bird-flu measures was important, Lin said, because while the central county is known as “the granary of Taiwan,” it is also home to more than 2,500 poultry farms and produces half the eggs consumed in Taiwan.
Severe dengue case reported
This first case this year of locally acquired severe dengue fever, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, has been reported in Greater Kaoh-siung’s Fongshan District (鳳山), the Centers for Disease Control said yesterday. The patient was a 44-year-old man with chronic disease, who was hospitalized with fever, headache and rashes, as well as muscle and joint pains, on June 21. The man has recovered and has been discharged from a Kaohsiung hospital. Two of his family members were diagnosed with classic dengue fever. According to the centers’ statistics, as of Monday, 211 cases of dengue fever have been reported this year: 92 imported and 119 locally acquired cases. The centers urged people with chronic diseases or who have previously had dengue fever to take extra care and step up prevention measures.