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Dengue fever in Taiwan soars past 40,000 cases

Dengue fever in Taiwan soars past 40,000 cases

The number of cases in Taiwan's worst dengue fever outbreak on record has now exceeded 40,000, according to statistics released by the Central Epidemic Command Center Friday.

A total of 275 new dengue fever cases were confirmed Thursday, pushing the number of cases since May to 40,173, said the center, which was set up in mid-September to tackle the outbreak.

Some 252 of the new confirmed cases were reported in Kaohsiung, which has recorded 16,701 cases since May, more than the national total in 2014.

Chou Jih-haw, deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control, said the outbreak in Kaohsiung has peaked and is gradually easing, as the number of new cases is declining.

He warned, however, of a continued risk of the spread of the disease, saying that the temperature in the southern city has not fallen below 15 degrees Celsius so far, which means it is still warm enough for dengue-carrying mosquitoes to breed.

Meanwhile, 11 new dengue fever infections were reported in the neighboring city of Tainan, which has been the hardest hit area this year, with a total of 22,678 cases as of Thursday.

The current outbreak has been the worst in Taiwan's history, with the number of cases nationwide more than doubling the previous annual record of 15,732 last year.

Over 90 percent of the patients infected this year have recovered but 184 people (112 in Tainan, 70 in Kaohsiung and 2 in Pingtung) have died of dengue fever since May, the latest statistics showed. (By Chen Wei-ting, Chang Jung-hsiang and Kay Liu)

Updated : 2021-09-19 06:06 GMT+08:00