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Taiwan records first case of Chikungunya this year

2019/05/01 22:14:21

CDC deputy director-general Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) / CNA file photo

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) An Indonesian migrant worker in central Taiwan has been diagnosed with Chikungunya fever, the first case in Taiwan this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday.

The woman developed a fever and runny nose on April 26, during a six-week visit to her home country with her husband, also an Indonesian working in Taiwan, CDC deputy director-general Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told reporters.

The couple was stopped by airport inspectors upon her return to Taiwan on April 28, he noted.

Follow-up tests confirmed that the woman was infected with Chikungunya virus, Chuang said, adding that she most likely contracted the disease in Indonesia because the virus has an incubation period of 3-7 days.

The patient has been quarantined and her husband is under observation until May 28, Chuang said.

According to the World Health Organization website, Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever, frequently accompanied by joint pains.

Serious complications are not common, except in some elderly people, the website says.

Since Taiwan listed Chikungunya as a notifiable disease in October 2007, it has recorded 113 confirmed cases, 90 percent of which were imported from Southeast Asian countries, primarily Indonesia (59) and the Philippines (27), according to CDC data.

Meanwhile, Taiwan recorded 122 imported dengue fever cases in the first four months of the year, a 10-year high for that period, with 90 percent of the cases imported from Southeast Asian countries, Chuang said.

The dengue cases were concentrated in six metropolises across Taiwan, namely New Taipei (20), Kaohsiung (18), Taipei (16), Taichung (16), Tainan (15) and Taoyuan (12), the CDC said.

The CDC has advised the public to take precautionary measures when visiting places where Chikungunya and dengue, also mosquito-borne, are rampant.

Travelers are advised to use government approved insect repellents, wear light-colored long-sleeved clothing, and chose accommodation that has screens on the doors and windows.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Emerson Lim)
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