Dengue fever situation severe in Kaohsiung

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) The number of dengue fever cases in Kaohsiung hgas reached 13,293, with 285 new cases reported there Saturday, showing the outbreak of the disease remains at its peak in the southern port city, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday.

In neighboring Tainan -- the most seriously affected area in Taiwan this year -- 10 new cases were reported Saturday. That brings the total number of cases in Tainan to 22,520, according to the latest statistics compiled by the CECC.

A total of 308 new cases were reported nationwide Saturday, bringing the total number of indigenous dengue cases in Taiwan to 36,507 since the start of the summer, according to the statistics.

With 245 cases reported in Pingtung County, the 36,058 cases of the mosquito-borne disease reported in the three areas in southern Taiwan account for 98.77 percent of the total in Taiwan.

Since the dengue fever outbreak remains at its peak in Kaohsiung and it has been warm and raining intermittently in the past few days in southern Taiwan, the CECC called for residents to diligently inspect indoor and outdoor environments, and make efforts to prevent the mosquitoes carrying dengue fever from breeding.

The CECC reminded patients to drink plenty of water, rest at home, take the medication prescribed to them according to instructions and avoid going outdoors.

There are 20 hospitals people can go to test if they have been infected by the disease and six hospitals have special outpatient departments for dengue fever, including Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital and Kaohsiung Municipal Cijin Hospital, the CECC said.

The confirmed death toll of dengue fever has reached 158 since May, with 112 deaths occurring in Tainan, 44 in Kaohsiung and 2 in Pingtung.

There are 56 patients infected with dengue fever still being treated at intensive care wards, while 33,827 patients have recovered from the disease this year. The recovery rate stands at 92.66 percent, said the CECC.

In 2014, Taiwan reported 15,732 dengue fever cases, the highest annual number since the authorities began keeping records, while the number of cases in Kaohsiung reached nearly 15,000, with 20 fatalities. (By Chen Wei-ting and Kuo Chung-han)