The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed that dengue hemorrhagic fever has claimed its first victim in the nation this year: a 76-year-old woman from Greater Kaohsiung’s Lingya District (苓雅) who died only eight days after contracting the mosquito-borne virus.
The tropical disease is treatable, but can be fatal if it develops into dengue hemorrhagic fever, as in the case of the 76-year-old woman.
The woman had a medical history of high blood pressure and diabetes and began experiencing fever, vomiting, muscle and joint pains on Aug. 9, the CDC said.
“She had blood in her stool and began suffering gastrointestinal bleeding shortly after being admitted to a local hospital. She died of severe shock and multiple organ failure on Saturday,” the agency said.
CDC also reported another case of dengue hemorrhagic fever that struck a 34-year-old man from the municipality’s Siaogang District (小港). The man developed symptoms of fever, headache, muscle soreness, nausea, and vomiting on Aug. 8 and not diagnosed until Monday last week.
Shortly after the man was admitted into a hospital that day, he also started exhibiting more severe symptoms, including nosebleeds, bloody stool and bleeding gums, the centers said, adding that thanks to the administration of timely treatments, the patient recovered and been discharged from hospital.
“New cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever are expected to increase in the city during the disease’s annual peak period. People in the high-risk group, such as those with high blood pressure, are urged to take particular heed of their physical condition and step up their mosquito control measures,” the health agency said.
As of Monday, a total of 878 dengue fever infections have been reported in the country this year, including 120 imported and 758 locally acquired cases.
In related news, a two-year-old boy was diagnosed with measles last week after he was found to have a fever when passing through a health screening station at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Monday, bringing the total number of measles cases to 18 this year.
“The boy failed to receive a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine that he was due to receive by August last year and flew to Indonesia with his mother on Oct. 4 last year to visit their relatives,” the centers said.
The child began exhibiting fever, cough, rash and a runny nose on Aug. 11, before flying back to Taiwan on Thursday, the centers said, adding that none of the 51 people who had direct contact with the boy have shown any signs of being infected.
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