Taipei, Sept. 5 (CNA) Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday released a statement reporting that local cases of dengue fever surged by 1,311 from Aug. 29-Sept. 4, while there were three additional deaths, doubling the number of fatalities this year.
During the week the total number of local dengue fever cases rose to 4,338, of which Tainan has recorded 3,788 cases (87.3 percent), Yunlin County 302 and Kaohsiung 157.
Local cases were also recorded in Pingtung, Taoyuan, New Taipei, Taipei, Chiayi County and City, Taichung, Hsinchu County and City, Changhua, Nantou and Miaoli, which make up half of the municipalities in the country, CDC said.
According to the CDC, all three deaths were males aged 60-90 with underlying chronic illness who died within a week of being hospitalized.
In the same period, the CDC reported eight more severe cases, bringing the total number to 19 this year, with 10 in Yunlin County and the rest from Tainan City.
The CDC added that it has deployed teams of public health professionals to Tainan and Kaohsiung to assist local governments combat the outbreak and evaluate the health risks.
The CDC has called for people living in high-risk areas to monitor their own health along with that of their loved ones, especially infants, pregnant women, those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, obesity and anyone who previously contracted dengue fever.
People in those areas should also reduce the number of containers left outdoors or clean and brush such containers to eliminate mosquito eggs and larvae after it rains, especially within seven days after Typhoon Haikui, the CDC added.
The CDC reminded people that they should wear light-colored outfits with long sleeves while sprayed themselves with government-approved mosquito repellent to avoid being stung.
Anyone who develops a headache, pain behind the eyes, a red-colored rash, bone, joint and muscle pain or a fever over 38 degrees Celsius, should seek medical assistance and take a dengue fever test as soon as possible, the CDC said.
According to CDC records, the current outbreak is the most severe since 2015, when there were more than 43,000 dengue cases and 228 deaths.
In addition, the CDC has also reported 137 imported cases this year, with most contracted in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand (39 cases), Malaysia (21), Indonesia (21) and Vietnam (20).
The CDC also warned that Latin America is another hot spot of dengue fever, with a total of more than 3 million cases reported in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia.