Taiwan records year's 1st fatality from dengue hemorrhagic fever

Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) A 76-year-old woman living in Kaohsiung died of dengue hemorrhagic fever Aug. 16, making her this year's first victim of the mosquito-borne tropical disease in Taiwan, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday. Announcing the death in a statement, the CDC urged people to strengthen their precautions against the disease, including the removal of standing water in which the dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed. The dead woman, who had a history of chronic high blood pressure and diabetes, began developing symptoms of fever, vomiting, and muscle and joint pain Aug. 9. She was hospitalized three days later, where doctors detected bleeding in her digestive tract, according to the CDC. The patient was one of two indigenous dengue hemorrhagic fever cases confirmed by the CDC in the past week. The second case is a 34-year-old man, also living in Kaohsiung, who was admitted to a local hospital Aug. 11. The man has since left the hospital after treatment and is recuperating from the disease, the CDC said. According to CDC data, as of Aug. 18 this year, Taiwan had reported 878 dengue fever cases, of which 120 were imported and 758 were indigenous. The bulk of the indigenous cases -- 726 -- were recorded in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, with eight cases recorded in Pingtung County, five in Tainan, two in Penghu County, two in New Taipei and one in Chiayi City. The sources of the imported cases include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Nauru, Cambodia, French Polynesia, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Tuvalu and Myanmar. The CDC warned that while four types of dengue virus have been found in southern Taiwan, people who contract more than one type of the virus are at higher risk of falling victim to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever. (By Elizabeth Hsu)