Taiwan reports first cluster case of dengue fever in New Taipei

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New Taipei City reports cluster of dengue fever (photo from Pixabay).

New Taipei City reports cluster of dengue fever (photo from Pixabay).

A middle-aged woman and a student who live in New Taipei have been confirmed as this year's first indigenous cluster case of dengue fever in Taiwan, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday.

The woman, aged 50, who lives in the city's Xinzhuang District, was reported to be one of the cluster of infections after she developed symptoms of fever and muscle aches July 14 and was confirmed to be infected with dengue fever Tuesday, the CDC said.

An investigation showed that the woman did not go overseas during the incubation period of the disease and that she lives some 50 meters away from the student who was confirmed July 10 as the country's second indigenous dengue fever case of this year after developing symptoms July 7, the CDC pointed out.

The woman and the student showed onset of symptoms no more than 14 days apart, the CDC said, adding that they are considered to be this year's first cluster of indigenous infections in Taiwan.

CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo said that through virus gene sequencing, the student's source of infection may have come from a reported imported case of a patient who had returned from the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

If people experience fever, headache, eye socket pain, muscle and joint pain or other suspected dengue fever symptoms, they should seek swift medical attention and report their travel history, Lo said.

According to CDC statistics, from the start of this year up until July 17, the country had recorded three indigenous cases of dengue fever comprising two cases in New Taipei and one in Kaohsiung.

In addition, there have also been 109 imported cases of dengue fever for this year, the statistics show. (By Chen Wei-ting and William Yen)