TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s health authorities on Sunday warned that people traveling abroad this summer should be vigilant against mosquito-borne diseases like chikungunya and dengue fever, which have been on the rise in recent months.
All of the chikungunya cases confirmed in Taiwan this year have been imported, from Myanmar (3), the Maldives (3), Indonesia (2), Thailand (1), the Philippines (1) and Malaysia (1), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, citing data valid as of July 15.
The global outbreak of chikungunya has been severe this year, with Thailand reporting 4,500 cases, the Maldives nearly 1,300 cases, Malaysia 283, and Singapore 21, the CDC said giving data valid as of June and early July.
In Brazil, more than 66,000 possible cases of chikungunya had been reported as of June 8, while about 10,000 cases had been confirmed in Congo as of June 9, the CDC said.
Regarding dengue fever, the CDC said, there have been 225 confirmed imported cases in Taiwan so far this year, the highest number in 10 years over the same period, with more than 90 percent of them originating in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.
In June, the CDC issued a Level 1 travel warning for Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Myanmar and India, citing a total of 6,800 confirmed cases of dengue fever in those countries.
A Level 1 travel warning advises that precautions should be taken when visiting the counties listed, including obtaining the relevant vaccines and ensuring protection against mosquito bites.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) website, chikungunya and dengue are viral mosquito-borne diseases that can produce flu-like symptoms. Chikungunya, however, is frequently accompanied by fatigue and joint pains, the WHO says.
By Chen Wei-ting and Emerson Lim