The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week reminded those who have traveled abroad in recent weeks to be alert for symptoms suggestive of contagious diseases within 14 days upon return and to inform doctors of their recent travel history if they seek medical attention.
The CDC’s data show that so far this year 234 Taiwanese have been reported as having contracted notifiable diseases abroad, which is the highest number in the past three years.
About 53 percent, or 123, of the people who contracted communicable diseases overseas had dengue fever, while 11.4 percent had acute viral hepatitis A, and 10.5 percent shigellosis, an acute bacterial infection of the intestines, the statistics showed.
The centers said that Southeast Asian countries have been seeing epidemics of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya disease this year that are far more serious and widespread than those seen in previous years, while the MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) continues to spread in the Middle East.
The centers urged those who plan to travel abroad to check with the CDC for the latest travel notices and take appropriate precautions before departure.
If travelers experience symptoms such as fever, respiratory difficulties or diarrhea during or after travel, they should inform the custom inspection staff to make sure that proper care and disease control measures are taken immediately, the centers said.
Most transmissible diseases have an incubation period, the CDC said, adding that those who develop the above-mentioned symptoms within 14 days of their return from overseas should seek immediate medical attention and inform physicians of their recent travels.