Travelers visiting dengue and chikungunya-affected areas advised to take precautions against mosquito bites as imported cases continue to occur

On October 29, 2019, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced that no new indigenous chikungunya cases had been reported in Zhonghe District, New Taipei City since the beginning of the surveillance period, indicating the outbreak was over on October 24. Additionally, outbreaks in Kaohsiung City and Taipei City were also announced to be under control, as surveillance periods in both cities ended on October 21 and October 28, respectively. Furthermore, no new indigenous dengue cases were found in Taiwan last week, showing that the disease activity has been declining. However, imported cases continue to be reported. Hence, travelers visiting affected areas are reminded to take precautions against mosquito bites in order to lower the risk of infection. 

With regard to chikungunya, thus far this year, as of October 28, a cumulative total of 21 indigenous cases and 83 imported cases have been confirmed in Taiwan. Among the imported cases, there were 60 from Myanmar and 13 from Thailand. The two new imported cases confirmed last week were from the above two countries, respectively. Also, over the past month, the majority of new imported cases became infected in Myanmar. In Thailand, the chikungunya outbreak is gradually slowing, but still remains at its peak, with most cases occurred in central Thailand. Thus far this year, as of September, a cumulative total of over 40,000 suspected was reported in India.   Meanwhile, chikungunya activities in Malaysia and Singapore have declined, but new cases continue to occur every week. 

As for dengue fever, as of October 28, a cumulative total of 99 indigenous cases have been confirmed in Taiwan. Currently, four districts throughout the nation are still under surveillance, including East District and Rende District in Tainan City, with both surveillance periods ending on November 6. And the surveillance periods of Xitun District in Taichung City and Shulin District in New Taipei City will end on November 9 and November 11, respectively. Additionally, a total of 443 imported cases have been confirmed. Over the past month, the majority of new imported cases contracted the disease in Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia. Dengue activities in the neighboring countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, India and Indonesia, are at their peaks, and most of them higher than that during the same period in recent years. 

Due to the effects of the northeast monsoon, all parts of Taiwan have recently experienced intermittent rains. Containers that collect standing waters tend to facilitate the growth of vector mosquitoes. Hence, the public is advised to thoroughly empty, clean and scrub any potential vector breeding sites in and around the home in order to prevent vector mosquitoes from breeding. If symptoms such as fever, headache, retroorbital pain, arthralgia, and rash develop, please seek immediate medical attention and inform the doctor of any relevant medical history, recent travel history to facilitate prompt diagnosis and case reporting. For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).