Mon, Jul 22, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Travelers urged to beware dengue and chikungunya

Staff writer, with CNA

The entrance to the Ministry of Health and Welfare is pictured in Taipei on April 30.

Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times

People traveling abroad this summer should protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases such as chikungunya fever and dengue fever, which have been on the rise in recent months, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned yesterday.

All confirmed cases of chikungunya fever in Taiwan this year have been imported from Myanmar (three cases), the Maldives (three), Indonesia (two), Thailand (one), the Philippines (one) and Malaysia (one), the centers said, citing data from Monday last week.

The global outbreak of chikungunya fever has been severe this year, with Thailand reporting 4,500 cases, the Maldives nearly 1,300 cases, Malaysia 283 and Singapore 21, the centers said, citing data from June and early July.

In Brazil, more than 66,000 possible cases of chikungunya fever had been reported as of June 8, while about 10,000 cases had been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as of June 9, the centers said.

So far this year, there have been 225 confirmed cases of imported dengue fever in Taiwan, the highest total for the January-to-June period in 10 years, with more than 90 percent of the cases coming from Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, the centers said.

The centers in June issued a level 1 travel advisory for Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Myanmar and India, because there were 6,800 confirmed cases of dengue fever in those countries.

A level 1 advisory warns travelers that precautions must be taken when visiting the counties listed, including obtaining relevant vaccines and ensuring protection against mosquito bites.

According to the WHO Web site, chikungunya fever and dengue fever are viral mosquito-borne diseases that can produce flu-like symptoms.

Chikungunya fever is frequently accompanied by fatigue and joint pain, the WHO said.

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