The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported two indigenous cases of dengue fever in New Taipei City. The patients are the relatives of two previously confirmed cases.
They are a woman in her 30s who lives in Sansia District’s (三峽區) Wuliao Borough (五寮里) and a man in his 30s who lives in the district’s Jiaosi Borough (礁溪里), CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said.
They were tested for dengue fever, as they had come into close contact with the cases announced on Wednesday last week, and their IgM and IgG tests for dengue antibodies were positive, Liu said.
Neither of them had traveled abroad recently and the woman usually stayed at home, but helped the two previous cases at a vegetable garden near Wuliaojian (五寮尖) on Aug. 29 and 30, she said.
The man was usually at home or at his workplace and he also helped at the garden on Aug. 29 and 30, as well as on Sept. 5 and 6, she added.
As all four cases have been linked to the vegetable garden, where CDC officials found numerous containers with standing water in them, as well as mosquitoes, they most likely contracted the disease there, Liu said, adding that they are considered a cluster infection.
CDC physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said that the two new cases both developed a fever on Sept. 4 and sought medical treatment, but were misdiagnosed with a common cold.
The man also sought treatment for skin rashes on Sep. 8, but he was misdiagnosed with a drug allergy, Lin said.
Most people with dengue fever show no or mild symptoms, he said.
Mosquitoes pose a health risk to communities, as they can transmit the disease, he added.
The best way to prevent dengue fever is to avoid mosquito bites by wearing light-colored and long-sleeved clothing, using insect repellent and removing standing water in the living environment to reduce mosquito breeding sites, Lin said.
As it is still the peak season for dengue fever, people who have symptoms, such as a fever, headache, rashes, aches and pain behind the eyes or in the joints, should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Doctors can conduct a rapid diagnostic test on them if they suspect the condition might be dengue, he added.
Twenty-one cases of indigenous dengue have been reported so far this year — 16 in Taoyuan and five in New Taipei City — as well as 59 imported cases, mostly brought in by travelers from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, Liu said.
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