Southern Taiwan sees dengue fever cluster


TAIPEI, Taiwan — A cluster of five dengue fever cases were reported in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City last week, raising concerns that the disease has returned, despite subsiding earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Saturday.

The patients, who live in city’s Nanzi District, all had visited a local market, suspected by CDC officials to be a dengue fever-affected area.

Also, during the week of May 12-18, another indigenous dengue fever case was seen in the city’s Cianjhen District, while two cases were imported from Indonesia, the agency said.

For Taiwan as a whole, a total of 108 indigenous cases of dengue fever were confirmed through May 18 so far this year, in a steady trend of decline since last November, according to CDC data.

In the wake of the outbreak, the CDC stressed the need for continued efforts to drain water containers and clean up vector breeding sites, especially in indoor areas.

Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. The symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and skin rash. In a small proportion of cases, it can develop into hemorrhagic dengue fever, which can be fatal.

So far, none of the dengue fever cases reported in Taiwan this year have resulted in death.