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Taiwan sees record-high number of dengue cases

TAIPEI--The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Monday urged the public to be on high alert against dengue fever as the number of local cases in Taiwan so far this summer has soared to the highest in 11 years.

In the past three months, from mid-May to mid-August, 570 local cases have been confirmed, compared with around 70 cases in the same period last year, CDC data showed.

It also showed that in the week Aug. 3-9, there were 149 new cases, 147 of which were in Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan.

Kaohsiung, which was rocked by a series of underground gas explosions on July 31, is facing dengue control problems as the blasts badly damaged its drainage systems, resulting in water-filled ditches whenever it rains.

The 149 cases in early August included one patient with hemorrhagic dengue fever, a more serious form of the disease, the CDC said. It said six such cases have been confirmed in the Taiwan this year, which is a five-year high.

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.

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