Southern Taiwan mobilizes 5,000 people to combat dengue fever

Kaohsiung City Government ramps up efforts to combat dengue fever after last week’s wet weather

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Anti-dengue fever efforts. (Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control)

Anti-dengue fever efforts. (Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Kaohsiung City Government's anti-epidemic team mobilized nearly 5,000 people on Aug. 30 to combat the increased risk of a dengue fever outbreak, following last week's heavy rain and flooding, reported CNA.

An environmental clean-up is under way in southern Taiwan, with 20,000 bottles of disinfectant used to sterilize homes and common areas.

The tropical depression on Aug. 23-24 resulted in six deaths, thousands of damaged homes and at NT$737 million (US$ 24.02 million) in agricultural losses. In the aftermath of the storm, Taiwan faces an increased risk of dengue fever as conditions improve for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The trouble for Taiwan is that dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes, and certain mosquito eggs can lay in dry conditions for up to three of six months before becoming active after coming into contact with water.

Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned on Aug. 26 that the risk of epidemic was significant, and urged the public to empty and thoroughly clean still bodies of water to reduce the risk of catching the fever.

Kaohsiung City Government said in a statement on Aug. 30 that the city's anti-epidemic team is sterilizing still bodies of water and working with other government agencies tasked with the flood clean up.

Kaohsiung City Government added that it will enhance its environmental inspections as the region enters into a higher level of risk dengue fever.

The CDC's most recent count from Aug. 28 puts the total Taiwan cases of dengue fever at 53.