Taipei, A cluster of Japanese encephalitis virus infection has been confirmed in Kaohsiung's Linyuan District, including two confirmed cases and one suspected case, an official with the city's health department said Monday.
As the residences of the two confirmed cases and the suspected case are all within about two kilometers of each other, the cases were categorized as a cluster infection, according to Pan Chao-ying (???), the head of the health department's disease control division.
Health authorities have checked seven pig farms in areas near the residences, while disease prevention and control staff have started a round-the-clock fight against mosquitoes by installing over 100 mosquito traps in the residences of the cases and nearby areas.
As a result, from May 23-27, 32,000 Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes have been caught, according to the department's statistics.
The health department will continue its disease prevention and control efforts throughout late June, Pan said, while calling on the public to prevent Japanese encephalitis by getting vaccinated and taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites in at-risk areas.
As the primary vector, the Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquito is known to breed in paddy fields, ponds and irrigation canals. People are advised to avoid visiting those places at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, according to the health department.
People suffering from Japanese encephalitis can experience serious psychological and neurological symptoms. Symptoms usually take 5-15 days to develop and include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty moving. The disease has a mortality rate of as high as 20 percent-30 percent, it said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel