Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Indigenous chikungunya cluster confirmed

PREVENTION:New Taipei City has closed eight hiking trails to fumigate and control the spread of mosquitoes after two women contracted the disease at a local trail

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A sanitation worker fumigates an alley in New Taipei City’s Jhonghe District yesterday to exterminate chikungunya fever vector mosquitoes.

Photo courtesy of the New Taipei City Department of Health

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed this year’s first indigenous chikungunya fever cluster in New Taipei City’s Jhonghe District (中和), while the city has temporarily closed eight hiking trails in the area to prevent transmission of the disease.

A new case of the mosquito-borne disease was confirmed yesterday — a 67-year-old woman, who lives in the district’s Funan Borough (福南里) and had not been abroad recently, the CDC said.

On Aug. 23, the woman had a fever and pain in the joints, and saw a doctor the same day.

However, she developed rashes and sought treatment again on Thursday last week.

The hospital then reported it as a suspected case of chikungunya fever, which was confirmed after a second test, the CDC said.

The woman has been treated and her symptoms have been relieved, it added.

The first indigenous case of chikungunya fever was a 61-year-old woman living in Neinan Borough (內南里), which is next to Funan Borough.

As both women had visited the Guo Chiang Ling Hiking Trail (國強嶺步道) and developed symptoms one day apart, the CDC deduced that the two cases were related.

New Taipei City Department of Health Director Chen Jun-chiu (陳潤秋) said the department had disinfected the two apartments where the women live, and would arrange to fumigate the area within a 50m radius of the two homes.

Since Friday last week, the department has also temporarily closed eight hiking trails, including the Guo Chiang Ling Hiking trail, to fumigate and control the spread of mosquitoes, Chen said.

People who trespass into the closed-off areas may be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000 for breaching the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法).

Symptoms of chikungunya fever include fever, headache, nausea, rashes and joint pain, the CDC said, urging people to seek medical assistance if they develop these symptoms and give their travel history to the doctor.

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