Sat, Jan 09, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Dengue epidemic command center to cease operating

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Central Epidemic Command Center for dengue fever yesterday announced it is to cease operating due to the epidemic being stabilized and that normal prevention measures would be taken over by regular government agencies.

The command center was established in September last year, with Vice Premier Chang Shan-cheng (張善政) put in charge.

Centers for Disease Control Director-General Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) yesterday said that because the epidemic has been stabilized, with the weekly reported cases in Tainan steadily dropping for the past 16 weeks, the command center would close.

Kuo said the centers and the Environmental Protection Administration would coordinate to continue monitoring the dengue fever situation. He said that the future strategy for dengue fever prevention would be “monitoring data, ecological mosquito prevention, rapid testing and incident reporting, and prevention measures for high risk groups.”

Integrated data about dengue fever cases collected by various government agencies would allow the centers to create a map that shows the latest dynamic information on infection clusters, cases reported at hospitals and weather reports.

That would allow the centers to decide on the best prevention measures, he said.

Kuo said that because some people do not visit a doctor when they have dengue fever symptoms, as they are afraid of causing trouble for their neighborhood, ecological mosquito prevention measures would also be considered.

The centers has already implemented a rapid dengue fever screening test at the nation’s four international airports to reduce the number of imported infections, he said, adding that it is also discussing with the Tainan and Kaohsiung governments about the possibility of implementing a vaccination program, which would reduce the death rate, especially of people aged 60 and above.

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