Clean up to avoid dengue: EPA - Taipei Times
Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Clean up to avoid dengue: EPA

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday called on the public to clean their surroundings more frequently to prevent water accumulation that could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus.

The warning came after the nation’s 13th indigenous case of dengue fever was reported in Chiayi County.

Given the rising number of indigenous dengue fever cases reported since last month, Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Thursday instructed the EPA and the Ministry of Health and Welfare to reinforce preventative and regulative measures to stop the disease from spreading.

As of Thursday, 13 indigenous dengue fever cases had been reported: one in Chiayi County’s Sikou Township (溪口), two in Taipei, nine in New Taipei City and one in Kaohsiung, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.

A total of 138 dengue fever cases were imported from abroad, mainly from the Philippines, Cambodia and Thailand, CDC data showed.

The EPA yesterday convened a meeting with the CDC and environmental bureau representatives from the six special municipalities, Keelung, and Yilan and Hualien counties to exchange information on the disease.

While it is hard to tackle dengue virus transmitted from abroad, the public can help curb its spread by cleaning stagnant water where mosquito larvae might reside, EPA Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) told a news conference.

The bottoms of flower pots, roof ditches, discarded tires, gardens and fields are also hotbeds of mosquitoes, Lee said.

The major carriers of the dengue virus — Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti — often gather in densely populated communities with older buildings, the EPA said, citing Cyonglin Borough (瓊林) in New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District (新莊) as an example.

Dengue fever can lead to death, with the disease causing more than 200 deaths in 2015, National Taiwan University entomology professor Hsu Err-lieh (徐爾烈) said.

Additional reporting by Yang Mien-chieh

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