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Dengue fever outbreak waning in Taiwan

Dengue fever outbreak waning in Taiwan

The dengue fever outbreak in Taiwan, which began in May, is showing signs of abating as fewer weekly cases have been reported over the past five consecutive weeks in Kaohsiung, one of the hardest-hit cities, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.

Last week, 490 new cases were reported around the country, bringing the total number of cases since May to 43,060, according to figures from the CECC released Monday.

On Monday alone, Kaohsiung reported 49 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the southern Taiwanese city to 19,395.

As of Monday, a total of 22,750 dengue fever cases were reported in Tainan City, where reported no new dengue fever cases Monday, the third day in six days.

Meanwhile, three confirmed new deaths were recorded over the past week, including two men in Kaohsiung and one woman in the southernmost county of Pingtung.

Three of the confirmed new deaths were caused by hemorrhagic dengue fever, bringing the death toll up to 212.

Most of the deceased had been suffering from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney failure, and heart disease, and were therefore at higher risk, the CECC said.

As of Monday, 357 imported cases of dengue fever were confirmed in Taiwan, mainly from Southeast Asia, according to the CECC.

To quickly identify imported dengue cases, Taiwan will implement an airport fever screening program beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control announced Tuesday. (By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao)