The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed the first case of indigenous dengue fever in the nation — a young woman in Kaohsiung who was likely infected by a person who contracted the disease in Thailand.
The 20-something woman visited a doctor on Friday after developing symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and tested positive for the dengue virus, the CDC said in a press release.
She is now in hospital under quarantine, and her house in Singbang Borough (興邦) in the city’s Cianjhen District (前鎮) has been disinfected, it said.
Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times
As the woman had not gone abroad recently and people she has had frequent contact with have not exhibited similar symptoms, the CDC said she was likely infected by a man living 143m away in the same borough.
The man on Jan. 9 was confirmed to have caught dengue fever in Thailand, the agency said.
This was the first time in three years that an indigenous case of dengue fever has been reported as early as February, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said, adding that most such cases emerge in May when the weather has turned warmer.
It might have been due to the warmer winter in Kaohsiung, where mosquito activities were not restrained by lower temperatures, Lo said.
As of Sunday, there was one case of indigenous dengue fever and 34 imported cases — 9 from Vietnam, 8 from Indonesia, 7 from the Philippines, 5 from Cambodia, 2 each from Thailand and Malaysia, and 1 from the Maldives, CDC data showed.
Thailand last year reported 87,000 dengue fever cases, which caused 113 deaths, the data showed.
From the start of the year to Jan. 21, it reported 1,700 cases, including one death, the data showed.
People planning to travel to countries that have an dengue fever should watch out for mosquito bites and visit a doctor if they develop a fever, headache or rashes after returning home, the agency said.
In other news, doctors advised the public to monitor their alcohol consumption during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, as overconsumption could cause irreparable damage to the pancreas.
Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital Department of Gastroenterology doctor Chou Wei-chiang (周偉強) said that the hospital recently received a patient, a 41 year-old man surnamed Hsieh (謝), who complained of chronic gaseous distention and stomach pain.
After agreeing to an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ECRP), Hsieh was diagnosed with a number of ailments due primarily to repeated inflammation of his pancreas, which led to calcification of his pancreas and pancreatic stones, Chou said.
The inflammation had also caused fibrosis of the pancreatic duct, causing it to contract, he said.
The hospital removed the stones and widened the pancreatic duct, Chou said, adding that Hsieh has recovered and returned to work.
Hsieh’s problems were mainly caused by his drinking habits since he was 15, when he started drinking a bottle of Kaoliang liquor a day, Chou said.
Hsieh said he has had recurring symptoms of an inflamed pancreas since his early 20s, but that he did not seek medical help until his condition began affecting his job.
Additional reporting by CNA
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