Wed, May 20, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Enterovirus cases almost double as dengue cases rise

BEAT THE SKEETERS:The CDC reminded the public to try to eliminate potential breeding sites for mosquitoes and to report dengue symptoms

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday urged the residents of Kaohsiung to bolster their mosquito-fighting measures after it confirmed a clustered dengue fever outbreak near the southern city’s Nanzih District (楠梓).

A total of six locally acquired cases of dengue fever were reported last week, five of which occurred in Kaohsiung’s Nanzih District, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) told reporters.

Three cases were confirmed in Longchang Borough (隆昌), two in Taichang Borough (泰昌) and one in Hongrong Borough (宏榮), Chou added.

“Our preliminary investigation found that the workplaces of all five infected individuals — four males and one female — are near the district’s Yongsing traditional market, indicating a clustered outbreak,” Chou told a news conference in Taipei.

Chou said that as of Monday, 108 cases of dengue fever had been reported this year, mostly in Kaohsiung.

The CDC has noticed a delay in the diagnosis and reports of some people infected with the mosquito-borne disease, Chou said, which could further raise the risk of a large outbreak of dengue fever.

Since there is no vaccine to prevent dengue virus infections, the CDC urged the public to eliminate potential breeding sites for mosquitoes by emptying open containers where female mosquitoes could lay eggs.

It also urged people who experience symptoms of dengue fever, such as headaches, fever, eye socket pain, rashes and muscle and joint pains to seek medical attention immediately.

Additionally, it reminded physicians and healthcare workers to report any suspected cases of dengue fever to local health authorities as early as possible to enable better control of the disease.

Meanwhile, the number of people seeking medical care over enterovirus infections in the past four weeks has increased from 6,672 to 12,757, the centers’ latest statistics showed.

Chou said the Coxsackie A virus accounts for about 76.5 percent of enterovirus infections in local communities, while the nation’s first enterovirus infection with severe complications this year so far was caused by the Coxsackie B5 virus.

“The more virulent enterovirus 71 has yet to appear this year, but the CDC will continue to closely monitor any outbreaks or mutated strains of the virus,” Chou said.

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