Sun, Jul 28, 2019 - Page 2 News List

First local chikungunya case reported in Tucheng

SIMILAR SIGNS:Symptoms for the disease are similar to dengue fever, but chikungunya, despite usually only lasting a week, can cause severe, lingering joint pain

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A woman in her 20s in New Taipei City was on Friday confirmed to be the first person to have contracted chikungunya fever in Taiwan.

The woman who lives in Tucheng District’s (土城) Yongning Borough (永寧里) has not visited other nations recently, and mostly stayed at home and in Pitang Borough (埤塘里), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.

Since the mosquito-borne viral condition was listed as a notifiable infectious disease in 2007, all cases have been imported by people who were infected in other nations, making this the first indigenous chikungunya fever case.

Like dengue fever, chikungunya is mainly transmitted to humans via bites from virus-carrying yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) or Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus), Chuang said.

Doctors originally suspected that she had dengue fever or measles based on her symptoms of fever, joint pain, headaches and rashes, but test results came back positive for the chikungunya virus, the centers said.

The local health department has taken preventive measures to disinfect areas near the woman’s home and she has been asked to stay at home for temporary quarantine to prevent the disease from spreading, it said.

“There is a chance that someone was infected, but did not seek medical attention or was misdiagnosed, resulting in the disease spreading locally,” Chuang said.

CDC physician Huang Song-en (黃頌恩) said that the incubation period of chikungunya is about two to 12 days and its symptoms are similar to dengue fever: acute fever, joint pain, headaches, nausea, fatigue, muscle pain and rashes.

Most people with the disease recover in about a week, Huang said.

However, chikungunya fever can cause debilitating joint pain and while most people recover fully, in some cases joint pain could persist for longer periods, Huang said.

The centers said that 17 cases of chikungunya have been confirmed this year, with the remaining 16 cases brought in from other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia.

The number is the highest for the period since 2007, the CDC said.

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