Fri, Jan 12, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Chikungunya fever case confirmed in southern Taiwan

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday announced this year’s first case of imported chikungunya fever — involving a 29-year-old Philippine migrant worker living in southern Taiwan — and said that cases of flu-like illness reported across the nation last week totaled 101,364, with 21 serious flu complications and one death being confirmed.

The CDC quarantine station at Kaohsiung International Airport detected that the man had a fever when he arrived on Tuesday last week, the CDC said, adding that he was taken to a hospital for an exam.

Blood test results on Thursday last week showed that he was infected with chikungunya fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said, adding that the man, who had been traveling alone, has now recovered.

Since chikungunya fever was placed on the list of notifiable communicable diseases in October 2007, a total of 106 cases have been reported, and all of them were imported from other nations, Chuang said, adding that 91 percent of the cases were from Southeast Asian countries, with the majority having been from Indonesia (57 cases) and the Philippines (24 cases).

People visiting areas with mosquito-borne diseases should take preventive measures against mosquito bites, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using insect repellents approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and using mosquito nets or window screens, the CDC said.

During cold weather, people should keep warm and practice good personal hygiene, especially washing their hands frequently, covering their mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of infection, the CDC said.

Relenza and Tamiflu — the two types of government-funded antiviral medicine — can be used to treat type A and type B influenza, so people should seek treatment at one of the more than 4,000 medical facilities with the medicines, the CDC said.

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