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April 29, 2017

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CDC urges precautions, warns of increasing dengue fever threat

TAIPEI -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the public Monday to take precautions against dengue fever, as the season for the mosquito-borne disease approaches its peak.

With Taiwan in the grip of the plum rain season and the onset of the hot summer months, water in unused containers should be drained often to prevent the mosquitoes that carry the virus from breeding, the agency said.

Taiwan had seen 90 cases of dengue fever this year as of June 2, including 69 cases imported from neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, according to the CDC.

The threat from abroad is on the rise, the CDC said, adding that Southeast Asia has recorded more cases this year than usual.

So far this year, Malaysia has reported 3.7 times the number of cases compared with the same period of last year, while the number of cases in Singapore is 3.6 times the country's five year average, the CDC said.

The CDC also cautioned people planning to travel to Southeast Asia, as well as Brazil — the host country of this year's soccer World Cup — to be on a high level of alert, since the South American country had reported over 300,000 cases as of April, including around 2,000 severe cases.

Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. Those stricken can suffer symptoms including fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash. In a small proportion of cases, the disease can develop into the life-threatening hemorrhagic dengue fever.

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