Dengue patients to be classified

TREATMENT PRIORITIZED::Patients with mild symptoms will be asked to rest at home and drink lots of water, while those with severe symptoms will be hospitalized

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Sep 17, 2015 - Page 3

The Central Epidemic Command Center for dengue fever yesterday said it will classify patients into three groups, according to their symptoms, for different types of treatment at different medical care institutions, starting from today.

The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Center director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said 3,563 new cases of dengue fever were reported across the nation between Sept. 8 and Monday, adding that 13 were brought in from other countries and 3,550 were local.

In the new local cases, 3,080 were identified in Tainan, 395 in Kaohsiung and 20 in Pintung County, Liu said, adding that 10,384 cases have been reported since the start of summer, with 98.7 percent of all cases concentrated in the Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung areas.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said there were 522 new local cases of dengue fever reported on Tuesday, including 437 in Tainan and 78 in Kaohsiung.

With the vast majority of cases reported in Tainan and many patients crowding into medical centers, CDC physician Philip Yi-chun Lo (羅一鈞) said the command center will classify patients according to their symptoms so that patients with severe symptoms can receive emergency treatment.

Group A — about 60 percent of all cases recorded since the start of summer — will be patients with mild symptoms, who will be asked to rest at home and drink lots of water, he said.

Group B — about 30 percent of all cases — will be patients who suffer from symptoms including persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain and gastrointestinal bleeding, Lo said, adding that they should be treated or hospitalized at four designated hospitals; the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Tainan Hospital, Tainan Municipal Hospital, Tainan Municipal An-nan Hospital and Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital Tainan Branch.

Lo said Group C — about 10 percent of all cases — will be patients with the most severe symptoms and those in need of emergency medical treatment.

He said those patients will be hospitalized at two medical centers; Chimei Foundation Medical Center (奇美醫院) and National Cheng Kung University Hospital.

“So please don’t rush to medical centers for diagnoses when you suffer from a fever,” Lo said.

He said a dengue fever consulting group consisting of 15 specialists has been formed to provide professional assistance to hospitals and clinics for diagnosing and treating dengue fever patients.

According to the latest statistics released by the Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday, dengue fever has caused 25 deaths since the start of summer, while 25 deaths are still unconfirmed as being from dengue.