New severe dengue case reported

HIGH-RISK AREA::The most recent case brings the total number of dengue infections confirmed this year to 214, the vast majority of which originated in Pingtung County

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Nov 03, 2013 - Page 3

The year’s second case of locally acquired dengue hemorrhagic fever has been reported in Pingtung County, the place where the first case was also detected, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.

As of the end of last week, 214 locally acquired cases of dengue fever have been confirmed this year, the centers added.

Only a small percentage of those who contract the tropical disease develop dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be life-threatening.

The latest patient with dengue hemorrhagic fever was a 77-year-old man from Pingtung City, who said he has had dengue fever before, the agency said.

The man also has a history of hypertension and diabetes.

He exhibited symptoms of fever, headache, bone pain and rashes before being hospitalized in an intensive care unit. The case was reported to the CDC and the patient has since been transferred to a general ward, the agency said.

Dengue fever is caused by four distinct, but closely related, serotypes (variations) of the dengue virus. After being infected with one serotype, the patient gains lifelong immunity against that particular variant. However, if they are subsequently infected with another serotype, they are at increased risk of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever, according to the WHO.

According to data from the CDC, the fatality rate of severe dengue in Taiwan is about 20 percent, with 23 of the 128 people who have developed the more virulent infection over the past 10 years dying.

The agency reiterated the importance of eliminating mosquito-breeding grounds as a prevention measure, calling on the public to clean and empty water storage containers in and around their residences.

Of the 214 locally acquired infections so far this year, 197 were reported in Pingtung County, eight from Taipei, six from Greater Kaohsiung and the rest in other places, the CDC said.