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Kaohsiung reports year's first case of dengue fever

TAIPEI -- The year's first case of locally acquired dengue fever has been reported in the Fengshan area of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, the city government's Department of Health said Tuesday.

The department said that outbreaks of dengue fever typically occur in July and August, but this year's first case occurred as early as January, an apparent sign that last year's outbreak has not yet ended.

The case involves a 52 year-old man who began developing symptoms of high fever and headache and was transferred to Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital after his condition did not improve following treatment at a local clinic.

The Centers for Disease Control under the Ministry of Health and Welfare confirmed Tuesday that it was a case of indigenous dengue fever.

The patient had visited friends in neighboring Pingtung County, and it was not certain whether the man was infected there or in Kaohsiung.

The local health department urged the public to stay vigilant against the mosquito-borne disease and to take preventive measures such as draining water containers, cleaning up vector breeding sites around their residences and protecting themselves against mosquito bites.

A total of 70 indigenous dengue fever cases were reported in Kaohsiung in 2013, including four cases of the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever.

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