Taiwan Grapples with Record Outbreak of Dengue Fever

Voice of Americ News
Date: October 27, 2015
By: Ralph Jennings

Taiwanese officials are reporting their most severe outbreak of dengue fever ever. More

FILE - Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes.

FILE – Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes.

than 100 people have died despite the efforts of a robust healthcare system, putting Taiwan on a level with poorer Asian countries that grapple every year with the mosquito-borne disease.

Dengue fever has touched nearly every part of Asia and regularly threatens about 1.8 billion people in the region. Subtropical Taiwan always gets a few cases, but this year the western Pacific island is fighting its biggest outbreak ever, with more than 23,000 sick people as of mid-October.

Dengue fever cases spiked this year from the annual average of 1,000 to 2,000 because of high heat and the Taiwanese habit of collecting fresh water – that quickly breeds mosquitoes as it stands. Lin Sheng-che, health department director in Tainan, the Taiwanese city with the most dengue fever cases this year, points to standing water as the chief aggravator.

He said one source of standing water are water vessels people often have outdoors, such as scoop basins and water bowls for their dogs, and that those are being taken back in. He suggested people look around their home for any such containers and dump out the water as soon as possible.     [FULL  STORY]

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