Dengue still escalating, expected to peak soon
The number of dengue fever cases in Taiwan has increased by 289 to 20,530 since the beginning of May, according to the latest figures released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Monday.
The center said that efforts to contain the disease have paid off but noted that previous dengue fever outbreaks in the country typically began to peak in October.
The public should stay alert and dispose of any standing water in their immediate surroundings to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, the CDC advised.
In the two worst hit areas, Tainan and Kaohsiung, the number of new cases reported Sunday was 219 and 63, respectively, the CDC said.
Compared with respective overnight increases of 244 and 58 a week ago, the numbers indicated a moderation of the outbreak in Tainan and a slight uptick in neighboring Kaohsiung, said CDC Deputy Director Chuang Jen-hsiang.
As of Sunday, the number of dengue infections in Tainan was 17,497, in Kaohsiung 2,699, and in the southernmost county of Pingtung 83, according to the CDC.
Meanwhile, another death possibly caused by the mosquito borne disease was reported Sun- day, which if confirmed, would bring the total number of fatal cases since May 1 to 56, Chuang said. He said there are 56 other cases that have not yet been confirmed as dengue deaths.
The CDC said there are 61 dengue fever patients in intensive care, while 17,340 patients, or 84.5 percent of the total number infected since May, have recovered.
A male water bug is floating in still water with eggs stuck to its back, in this photo provided by the Taipei Zoo yesterday. Water bugs are to become the next choice of weapon against dengue fever for its appetite of mosquito larva, and will be released in waters inside the zoo grounds, stated zoo authorities. According to the zoo, female water bugs lay their eggs on the back of a male water bug, where the eggs would remain until they hatch.