The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed the ninth indigenous case of dengue fever in Tainan, saying it suspects that the virus might have spread farther, as the latest case involves a person who had not been to areas linked to previous cases.
An 89-year-old man living in the mountainous Ronghe Borough (榮和) of Zuojhen District (左鎮) developed a fever on Wednesday, the centers said.
On Friday, he was taken to a hospital for a scooter-related injury and tested positive in a rapid dengue fever screening before being confirmed to have contracted the disease, the centers said.
Photo provided by the Tainan Public Health Bureau
The man usually stays at home and tends his vegetable garden and he had not traveled abroad or visited areas linked to the eight previous indigenous cases, the CDC said, adding that he visited Shanhua District (善化) on Sunday last week.
Disease prevention personnel would disinfect the man’s home and garden, the centers said, adding that it is investigating where he might have contracted the disease and whether the virus is the same strain as the previous cases.
CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said a possible source of infection could be someone visiting Zuojhen before the onset of symptoms, or there could be local residents who contracted the disease abroad, but did not show symptoms.
A total of 48 indigenous dengue fever cases had been reported nationwide as of yesterday — 39 in Kaohsiung and nine in Tainan — and there were 209 imported cases, marking the highest number for the period in 10 years, the CDC said.
As heavy rain or showers have been forecast for most of southern Taiwan this week, the centers urged people to remove standing water in containers or drenches in their living environments following rain to eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and immediately seek medical help if symptoms of fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, rashes, or muscle and joint pain occur.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease.
Symptoms typically begin three to 14 days after infection.
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