Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Dengue fever has killed 204 people since May: CDC

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Statistics released by the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) yesterday showed that 204 people have died from dengue fever since May, while 27 people have died from severe complications arising from influenza since July.

The Central Epidemic Command Center said that of the 204 dengue fever deaths, 112 were in Tainan, 90 in Kaohsiung and two in Pingtung County.

CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center division chief Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the reported deaths, 106 were men and 98 were women, the median age was 75.5, and those who died were suffering from an average of two or three chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease or chronic kidney disease.

The average time period between the onset of symptoms and death was 6 days, 6 hours, Guo added.

The number of new dengue fever cases reported in Kaohsiung on Monday was 128, with the number of cases reported last week showing a 40 percent reduction compared with the week before, a sign that the outbreak is slowing down, the CDC said.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said that 337 dengue fever cases were brought in from other nations — mainly from Southeast Asia — so people who plan to visit such nations should take preventive measures.

The CDC also said that three new severe influenza cases were reported last week, including one death, adding to a total of 156 such cases, including 27 deaths, since July.

Reported cases of influenza are estimated to grow as the weather gets colder, Chou said, adding that previous records showed that the peak season is usually around the time of the Lunar New Year.

With remaining numbers of government-funded influenza vaccinations standing at 121,112 for adults and 14,207 for children, Chou urged people who qualify to get vaccinated and people who have suspected symptoms to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

CDC physician Wu Hsiu (吳岫) said influenza symptoms differ from common colds in that patients might develop significant or persistent fevers, a cough that brings up blood or thick, yellow mucus, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

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