CDC warns of risk of dengue fever outbreak in south

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 - Page 3

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautioned the public about the risk of a dengue fever outbreak as new cases of locally acquired dengue infection have been confirmed and a tropical storm approaches.

Thirteen dengue infections were reported in the past week, four of which were locally acquired and nine imported, the CDC said, adding that all four locally acquired cases were in Pingtung County, where 63 of the 64 locally acquired cases have been reported so far this year.

One of the four locally acquired cases reported last week is of a different strain from those found previously in Pingtung County, indicating a different source of infection, the disease control agency said, warning that as the number of imported cases this year has also reached a record high for the same periods over the past decade, the risk of a dengue fever outbreak has increased.

Adding to the concerns, a tropical storm is closing in, which is expected to bring torrential rains and leave water that will cause an increase in mosquitoes, the main vector of the disease, said the CDC, who urged the public to eliminate standing water after the storm has passed to lower the mosquito density in their communities.

As of Monday, 64 indigenous cases and 160 imported cases of dengue fever have been reported, with most of the latter originating in Indonesia (58), Thailand (39) and the Philippines (17), the agency said, cautioning those traveling to Southeast Asia to take appropriate precautions.