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2 Taiwanese diagnosed with malaria after Uganda trip

2018/10/10 18:01:48

Kuo Hung-wei (郭宏偉), deputy chief of the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Center

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) Two Taiwanese women were confirmed to have malaria after they returned from a trip to Uganda last month, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials said Tuesday.

The patients were two female university students, who traveled to Uganda along with 10 other schoolmates and teachers to provide social services there from Sept. 10 to 23, said Kuo Hung-wei (郭宏偉), deputy chief of the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Center.

He said that after returning to Taiwan, the patients experienced fevers, cold shivers, nausea, muscle pain, and vomiting on Oct. 4 and Oct. 6, respectively, before seeking medical treatment.

After tests, they were confirmed to have malaria, the official said.

Another member of the group experienced some of the same symptoms while still in the African country and was treated and cured of the disease before leaving.

A fourth person was directed to seek treatment by a health department in Taiwan when experiencing a headache after returning home from Uganda, Kuo said, but the other eight members have not shown any signs of having the mosquito-borne disease.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said the confirmed malaria patients sought medical advice and received prescriptions for drugs to prevent malaria before departing on the trip.

One of the two, however, only took the medication for two days while the other took it irregularly, said Chuang, who blamed their infection on not taking the disease seriously enough.

CDC quarantine physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said travelers must take medication before leaving for malaria-stricken areas and continue to do so during the trip and after returning home to prevent infection by the disease.

As of Oct. 8 this year, there had been five confirmed malaria cases in Taiwan this year, all of them imported, with two of them coming from Uganda, and one each from India, Kenya and the Solomon Islands, CDC data showed.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Elizabeth Hsu)