Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) There were 12 new cases of indigenous dengue fever last week in Taiwan, which means the peak season for the mosquito-borne disease has arrived, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.
Between Aug. 7 and 13, 12 people 29-73 years of age in the southern Taiwan cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung fell ill with dengue fever, bringing the total number since May to 71, the CDC said in a statement.
"The number of cases so fast this year seems to be the highest compared to the same period in the past four years," CDC Deputy Director General Chou Jih-haw said in an interview with CNA.
He urged the public to take preventive measures against the mosquito-borne disease.
"The peak season is usually in August so prevention is very important right now," he said.
There has also been an increase in the number of imported dengue fever cases, with 11 new ones recorded last week, Chou said.
Some 28.4 percent of the imported dengue fever cases were travelers on vacation, about 27.7 percent were people who had been abroad to visit relatives and 26.3 percent had traveled overseas on work-related trips, he said.
"Most of the imported dengue fever cases so far this year have originated in the Philippines," Chou said, urging travelers to Southeast Asian countries to take precautions.
It is advised that people wear light-colored long sleeved shirts and long pants, use mosquito nets at night and apply insect repellents when necessary, he said.
Those returning from countries with dengue fever problems should see a doctor within 15 days if they develop symptoms of fever, headache, muscle pain and rash, the CDC advised.
(By Nancy Liu)