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Southern Taiwan records more cases of dengue fever

TAIPEI -- Southern Taiwan has reported 31 cases of dengue fever so far this year, nearly half of which have been local infections, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday.

Out of the 14 domestic cases confirmed in Taiwan since Jan. 1, 10 were reported in Pingtung County, which reported no cases at the same time last year, according to the CDC.

Three other domestic cases were found in Tainan and one in Kaohsiung.

The 17 imported cases mainly involved Taiwanese who were infected while traveling in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia, said Chou Jih-haw, the CDC's deputy director-general.

Dengue fever outbreaks happen mainly during the summer and domestic cases are unusual during the winter months, Chou said.

The cases reported in Pingtung and neighboring areas could have been caused by mosquitoes that have been taking refuge in the warmth of people's homes, he said.

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