Taipei, Two more cases in this year's first indigenous dengue fever cluster in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District have been confirmed, bringing the total cases in the cluster to eight, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced Monday.
The cluster infection was first reported in early July when a student resident in Xinzhuang's Qionglin ward developed a fever, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches July 7 and was hospitalized the next day before being sent home.
The patient sought medical treatment again July 9 after suffering from diarrhea and a blood test confirmed July 10 he had a dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) infection.
Subsequently, three more dengue fever cases were reported in areas near the residence of the student.
On Saturday, the fifth and sixth cases in the cluster were reported.
Whereas the residences of the first five patients were 250 meters from each other, the sixth case was 500 meters from the homes of the first five patients, showing the movement of the virus from infected to uninfected areas and its spread northward.
In the latest development, the CDC on Monday reported the seventh and eighth confirmed cases in the dengue fever cluster.
The recently reported patients are a couple -- a 51-year-old man and his 46-year-old wife -- who did not go overseas during the incubation period for the disease and displayed fever, muscle aches and pains on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2, respectively. They have since been confirmed as having contracted dengue fever and are currently in isolation.
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (???) said the first six cases were in Qionglin ward, while the recently reported patients live in neighboring Xinghan ward, which is about 1 kilometer north of Qionglin, indicating that the cluster infection has worsened and the virus has spread northward to more densely populated areas of Xinzhuang.
Health authorities have undertaken comprehensive environmental disinfection of areas near the cases, Lo said.
The cluster of eight indigenous dengue fever cases is more than the six confirmed cases in a cluster reported last year and represents the highest for nearly three years, according to CDC statistics.
Meanwhile, New Taipei City's Department of Health and Environmental Protection Department have adopted mosquito control and prevention measures in dengue fever affected and neighboring areas, head of the health department Lin Chi-hung (???) said Monday, while urging the public to avoid keeping standing water in containers because it serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
People who keep containers holding standing water could face a fine ranging from NT$3,000-NT$15,000 (US$98-489) for violating the Communicable Disease Control Act, Lin added.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel