Since May, cases of dengue fever had increased to 9,103, with 98.41 percent occurring in the southern municipalities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, the Centers for Disease Control said.
- On Friday, 617 new cases were reported, breaking the record for highest daily increase in cases.
- A total of 7,660 cases of dengue fever have been recorded in Tainan since May.
- Kaohsiung had reported 936 cases.
According to the CDC, Dengue-related deaths have increased to 44, 18 of which were confirmed to be caused by the disease, while the remaining 26 cases are still under investigation.
In Tainan, 2,813 cases were reported in the North District; 1,217 cases in the West Central District; 1,136 cases in the South District; 859 cases in the Yongkang District; 660 cases in Annan District; and 612 cases in the East District, the Tainan City Government’s Health Department said, adding that almost all of those districts fall within a 12km radius of Tainan Railway Station.
Only two of Tainan’s 37 districts have reported no cases of dengue fever, Beimen and Longci.
Local statistics said, Of Kaohsiung’s 38 districts, 28 have so far reported dengue fever cases. Last year, the incidence of dengue fever cases in Kaohsiung reached nearly 15,000, with 20 recorded fatalities.
Dengue fever also known as break bone fever, is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.
Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes, principally A. aegypti. The virus has five different types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type increases the risk of severe complications. As there is no commercially available vaccine, prevention is sought by reducing the habitat and the number of mosquitoes and limiting exposure to bites.
Treatment of acute dengue is supportive, using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease, and intravenous fluids and blood transfusion for more severe cases. The number of cases of dengue fever has increased dramatically since the 1960s, with between 50 and 528 million people infected yearly. Early descriptions of the condition date from 1779, and its viral cause and transmission were understood by the early 20th century. Dengue has become a global problem since the Second World War and is endemic in more than 110 countries. Apart from eliminating the mosquitoes, work is ongoing on a dengue vaccine, as well as medication targeted directly at the virus.
Typically, people infected with dengue virus are asymptomatic (80%) or have only mild symptoms such as an uncomplicated fever. Others have more severe illness (5%), and in a small proportion it is life-threatening. The incubation period (time between exposure and onset of symptoms) ranges from 3 to 14 days, but most often it is 4 to 7 days. Therefore, travelers returning from endemic areas are unlikely to have dengue if fever or other symptoms start more than 14 days after arriving home. Children often experience symptoms similar to those of the common cold and gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) and have a greater risk of severe complications, though initial symptoms are generally mild but include high fever.IMAGE/WIKIPEDIA