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More dengue fever cases reported in Kaohsiung City

More dengue fever cases reported in Kaohsiung City

The Kaohsiung city government has stepped up efforts to contain the spread of dengue fever as 28 new cases were reported in certain parts of the southern port city last week, a local health official said Monday.
"Twenty-eight more indigenous dengue fever cases were reported in the city last week alone, bringing the total cases to 186 so far this year, " said Ho Chi-kung, director of the municipal Department of Health.
As an annual national sports meet is being held in the city and a warm-up event for the 2009 World Games will also open in Kaohsiung Tuesday, Ho said the city government's dengue fever-fighting team has heightened its alert and stepped up preventive operations, including epidemiological surveys, environmental cleanups and emergency disinfection.
According to Ho, this year's dengue fever situation is far more complicated than before.
In the past, the outbreak in the city was usually caused by a single strain of the virus, but this year, he said, two types of the virus originating in four different countries -- Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia -- were detected in cases reported in the city.
Making epidemic control even more challenging is that the four different strains penetrated different districts of the city, Ho said.
For instance, dengue fever cases reported in the city's Nantzu district were mainly caused by a Type 1 virus originating in Thailand, Ho said, with 14 boroughs in the district affected by the epidemic.
But except for Jenchang borough, which was still being closely monitored, the epidemic had been brought under control in all other boroughs, with no new cases reported in those areas for more than six weeks.
A single case reported in Fenghua borough in Kushan district was caused by a Type II strain originating in the Philippines, Ho said, adding that no new case of this strain has been reported for more than four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Type II Cambodian strain mainly affects Chienchen district and neighboring Kaohsiung County's Fengshan City, and the cases reported in the city's Lingya district were mainly caused by the Type I Vietnamese strain of the virus, Ho said.
He suspected that the Cambodian and Vietnamese strains spread to neighboring areas in Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County in August, and although the outbreak was later contained, some remnants of the virus were able to spread into Chienchen and Lingya districts, causing the infection to reach a peak last week.
With intensive preventive efforts, Ho said the epidemic will be gradually subsiding in the coming one week or two.
The potentially deadly dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease which is manifested by a sudden onset of severe headache, muscle and joint pains, a fever, and rashes.