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Scrub typhus warnings issued as holiday arrives

TAIPEI--As people across Taiwan get ready for the annual tidying up of their ancestors' graves next week, they should take extra precautions to prevent scrub typhus infections from mites hiding in vegetation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned.

The chance of infection skyrockets around the Qingming Festival, more commonly known as Tomb Sweeping Day, when people walk through grassy areas to reach ancestral graves, opening themselves to attack by chiggers, the main carriers of scrub typhus.

Risks can be lowered by preparing appropriate clothing and insect repellent before heading out, and changing clothes and showering immediately after returning from the gravesites, the CDC advised.

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