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Kaohsiung reports first indigenous dengue fever case of 2019

2019/02/04 14:40:22

Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

Taipei, Feb. 4 (CNA) A Kaohsiung resident has been confirmed as Taiwan's first indigenous case of dengue fever of 2019, the earliest the first home-grown case of the year has been reported in three years, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday.

The patient, a woman in her 20s who lives in the city's Qianzhen District, developed a fever, a headache and muscle pain on Feb. 1, and was diagnosed with dengue fever after seeing a doctor. She was hospitalized the following day.

The patient was found to have the dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) strain and is still being treated for the illness, the CDC said in a statement.

She did not travel overseas, but her home is only about 150 meters from the residence of a man in his 50s who was confirmed on Jan. 9 to have contracted DENV-2 from Thailand.

The city's health bureau therefore suspects that the indigenous case may be related to the imported case.

It could also be connected to another suspected dengue fever case imported from the Philippines that was reported in Qianzhen on Jan. 30, the health bureau said.

Health authorities have disinfected her home and neighborhood to help prevent the spread of the virus and will investigate the outbreak, CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) told CNA.

Home-grown dengue fever outbreaks in Kaohsiung typically start in May, but the warm winter there this year means the population of vector mosquitoes has remained high, potentially leading to the earlier-than-usual indigenous case of the disease, Lo said.

As of Feb. 3, one indigenous dengue fever case and 34 imported cases -- nine from Vietnam, eight from Indonesia, seven from the Philippines, five from Cambodia, two each from Thailand and Malaysia, and one from Maldives -- had been reported in Taiwan this year, according to CDC data.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Wang Shwu-fen and Evelyn Kao)