Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

CDC confirms a cluster of indigenous dengue cases

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed a clustered outbreak of six indigenous cases of dengue fever in New Taipei City, as it urged Taiwanese to eliminate standing water, especially after rainy days, to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching.

A married couple in their fifties, living in Yingge District’s (鶯歌) Donghu area (東湖), were reported to be indigenous cases of dengue fever in late September, with two other cases being reported nearby earlier this month and considered related to the first two. The CDC confirmed two new cases of dengue on Thursday and determined them to be associated with the previous four cases.

The two new cases involve a man in his twenties who works at the Environmental Protection Administration and a man in his 50s who lives in Yingge District and grows vegetables on a farm near where the first couple lives, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday.

The man in his 50s suffered a fever and visited a doctor on Oct. 1, subsequently sought treatment two more times and was even hospitalized for four days, Lo said, but was not diagnosed with dengue fever, as he suffered atypical symptoms that misled doctors to treat him for a bacterial infection, a drug allergy and pneumonia.

The man was screened and confirmed to have dengue 11 days after the fever’s onset, after telling the doctor that dengue cases had been reported near the farm that he often visits.

People who are already infected with dengue virus can transmit the infection (through Aedes mosquitoes) in the five days after symptoms appear, and cases that are not promptly confirmed can cause a higher risk of dengue being spread in a community, Lo said, adding that people should remember to report their recent activities and areas they have visited to the doctor when dengue-like symptoms occur.

However, there are only vegetable farms, a bamboo forest and one house within a 100m radius of the new case, and no other dengue-like cases have been reported with symptoms occurring after Oct. 4, so the risk of the cluster spreading farther is relatively low, he said.

The local health department has disinfected the area and plans to monitor the 710 people who have had direct contact with the two cases until Nov. 1, he added.

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