Home / General / CDC urges caution amid dengue fever outbreak in Southeast Asia (Taiwan News)
Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the public Sunday to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when travelling to Southeast Asian countries, as outbreaks of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, are also seri...

CDC urges caution amid dengue fever outbreak in Southeast Asia (Taiwan News)

Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the public Sunday to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when travelling to Southeast Asian countries, as outbreaks of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, are also serious there. In view of the close exchanges between Taiwan and the countries of Southeast Asia, the CDC urged the public to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes by wearing light colored long-sleeved shirts and trousers and to use mosquito repellent endorsed by the health authorities. CDC statistics show that Malaysia reported 82,181 dengue fever cases between January and August, among which there were 225 fatalities. The most serious outbreak was in Selangor, where the Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located, with 45,362 cases. It was followed by Johor with 9,449 cases, Perak with 7,144 cases and Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with 5,318 cases. “The number of dengue fever cases in Malaysia is higher than the average over the past five years,” said Chuang Jen-hsiang (???), deputy director-general of the CDC. In addition to Malaysia, the outbreaks in other Southeast Asian countries have also been serious, the statistics show. Thailand has reported more than 55,000 cases, with 42 fatalities. The number in Vietnam also increased by 55 percent from the same period of last year, mainly in northern parts of the country and in Ho Chi Minh City. The number of cases in Singapore, meanwhile, was twice the average of the past five years. In view of suggestions by Taiwanese expatriates in Southeast Asia to consume red guava to fight the disease, Chuang said that any effect would probably be limited to replenishing fluid. He noted that dengue fever patients develop such symptoms as fever and low blood pressure, resulting in dehydration. He suggested that a better source of hydration is simply plain water or unsweetened fruit juice. Experts in a meeting convened by the Tainan city government a day earlier had warned that the spread of dengue fever there has been too fast, attributing it to the rainfall over the past several days, which has rendered the spraying of pesticide to kill mosquitoes futile. Liu Ching-chuan (???) of National Cheng Kung University said that the number of fatalities confirmed or suspected to have been caused by dengue fever in Tainan had reached 29, and predicted that the number could climb further. Liu said that even though the cases are mainly in southern Taiwan, people in northern Taiwan should not relax too soon, because it is an imported disease, and with the movement of people, can spread quickly. The number of indigenous dengue fever cases since May had reached 5,542 as of Saturday, mainly in Tainan (4,884 cases) and Kaohsiung (571 cases). Other cities and counties have had far fewer cases, with Pingtung County reporting 20, New Taipei 15, Taichung 12, Taoyuan nine, Hsinchu seven and Chiayi six. (By Lung Pei-ning and Lilian Wu)

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