Prevention of Dengue Fever in Taiwan – A Year 2004 Report
2005 Vol.21 NO.8
Three dengue epidemics occurred on the island of Taiwan, in 1915, 1931, and 1942. The epidemic in 1942 affected five-sixths of the population (five million people). The use of DDT during the period of malaria prevention in the 1950s destroyed the habitats of transmitting mosquitoes, and thereby also interfered with the transmission of dengue (Gubler, 2004). In addition, infrequent international travel prevented the importation of dengue from other countries. Therefore, there was no outbreak of dengue in Taiwan for almost 40 years. In 1981, dengue was re-introduced from the Philippines by fishermen of Shiou-Liu-Chiu and infected 80% of the population there (Fun, 2004). In 1987 and 1988, there were also outbreaks of dengue in Pingdung and Kaohsiung, and domestic cases occurred almost every year thereafter (Fig 1).