The Central Epidemic Command Center for dengue fever will set up a firewall to contain the disease’s spread and allocate resources according to its prevalence, Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said yesterday at its first meeting in Taipei.
From the start of summer to yesterday, the number of dengue fever cases had reached 9,862 nationwide, including 8,666 in Tainan and 1,030 in Kaohsiung, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data showed.
Taitung County yesterday confirmed its first case of dengue fever. However, the patient had stayed in Tainan during the summer and only recently returned to Taitung, so the source of the infection might have been in Tainan, the CDC said.
The first policy of the center is to classify dengue outbreak areas according to case numbers, the premier said.
While current data show that the most severe outbreak appears to be in Tainan’s urban areas, the number of cases in outlying areas is also on the rise, underlining the need to locate the actual source of the infection, he said.
“The concept of a firewall [surrounding the disease source] should be introduced, and we should allocate manpower and material resources accordingly to these different areas,” Mao said.
All departments and local governments should conduct an inventory of their dengue prevention resources to better plan the next phase of preventive measures, he said.
The inventory should include the number of available dengue virus NS1 antigen rapid test kits, supply of insect repellents, as well as personnel — including local cleaning squads, military support to help spray pesticides and medical practitioners who are familiar with dengue fever treatment, the premier added.
The center will also set up an information service platform — with data built up by specialists and academics — where the public can access accurate and up-to-date information about dengue fever, he said.
Mao stressed the need for cooperative prevention work between the central government and local government agencies, adding that it is important for communities to “help themselves” by participating in keeping their living environments — both indoors and outdoors — clean.
He reminded the public to keep the following in mind to prevent dengue fever: carry out regular inspections of the living environment, making sure that it is tidy and clean, keep it free of standing water and clean water containers so they do not become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
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