A Kaohsiung man has become this year’s first reported indigenous dengue fever case, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
The patient, who is in his 30s, on Thursday last week sought treatment after coming down with a fever, headache and loss of appetite, the CDC said, adding that he was hospitalized two days later after the symptoms persisted and muscle pain set in.
He was on Sunday confirmed to have contracted dengue virus type 3 (DENV-3) and has been kept in isolation since, the CDC said.
The CDC has determined that the patient did not travel overseas during the incubation period prior to the onset of the disease, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.
However, the disease does not seem to have spread, because none of the patient’s family members or those living in his community have developed any symptoms, Lo said.
DENV-1 and DENV-2 have been the dominant strains in major dengue fever outbreaks in the past few years, with the exception of 2010, when a minor DENV-3 outbreak happened in Kaohsiung.
There have been only a few isolated cases of DENV-3 infection in Taiwan since the outbreak, Lo said.
DENV-3 is usually considered an imported serotype, originating mainly in the Philippines, and the CDC does not rule out the possibility of imported cases in the patient’s neighborhood, Lo added.
However, compared with the two other types, DENV-3 is less likely to lead to severe complications and only poses a minor risk if an outbreak occurs, Lo said.
Dengue fever will likely be kept under control this year, because in past few years when large dengue fever outbreaks have occurred, the first indigenous dengue fever case was reported in April or May, much earlier than this year’s first indigenous case, Lo said.
There have been 94 imported cases of dengue fever so far this year, CDC statistics showed.
Most of the imported cases reported over the past month were from Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand, they showed.
The CDC urged the public to take precautionary measures when traveling to dengue endemic areas, and to seek treatment at the first sign of dengue fever, such as fever, headache, severe muscle and joint pain, eye socket pain and skin rash.
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