Dengue fever spreads northward, confirmed cases this year at 412
August 5, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI -- Dengue fever has spread to northern Taiwan, increasing the threat of the mosquito-borne disease in its annual peak period, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday.
In late July, a New Taipei City resident was confirmed to be infected with dengue fever after she visited Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, the CDC said.
The 29-year-old woman, who has since been discharged from hospital and is now recovering, was the first dengue case in New Taipei this summer, the center said.
New cases were also reported in Tainan City and the offshore county of Penghu, signaling a greater risk of the disease spreading, according to the CDC.
There have been 412 confirmed cases of dengue fever in Taiwan so far this year, compared with 214 during the same period in 2013, the CDC said, citing data valid as of July 28.
It said that among the 412 cases, 309 were indigenous and 103 were imported from countries that included Indonesia, Malaysia, and China.
Preventive measures such as draining water containers, cleaning up vector breeding sites close to residential areas and taking precautions against mosquito bites should be observed, the CDC said.
Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. The symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and skin rash. In a small proportion of cases, the disease can develop into the life-threatening hemorrhagic dengue fever.