Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) As Typhoon Usagi slowly pulls away from Taiwan, residents of Kaohsiung and Pingtung are faced with another pressing concern: a rise in domestic dengue fever.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautioned Sunday that still water left by typhoons can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which carry and spread the infectious disease.
Researchers have found that 80 millimeters of rainfall in a day or 200 mm in a week greatly increases the risk of dengue fever developing within about two months, CDC Deputy Director Chuang Jen-hsiang said.
Basements, open containers, and other secluded areas still covered in water from the typhoon could become hotbeds for the disease unless cleaned up, Chuang said, cautioning that the end of the Mid-Autumn Festival break means many people will be moving around the country to resume work and school -- and possibly spreading disease.
Anyone showing dengue fever symptoms, including high fever, joint aches, or eye pain, should seek immediate attention, he said.
Taiwan has seen 123 cases of domestic dengue fever this year, all but 16 of which were reported after Taiwan's rainy season began in May.
The bulk of the infections occurred in Pingtung, though scattered cases have been reported in Kaohsiung, Taipei, and New Taipei as well.
(By Chen Ching-fang and Wesley Holzer)