Analysis of Dengue Fever Cases Recorded
2008 Vol.24 NO.8
Correspondence Author： Ho-Sheng Wu
This report analyzed dengue fever case data collected between 2005 and 2007. It includes cases reported to Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control through its communicable disease surveillance system, as well as contactor cases and cases detected by fever screening centers at international airports and sea ports. In 2005, 17.9% of reported cases tested positive. This percentage increased to 37.8% in 2006, and again to 51.3% in 2007. A gradual year on year increase in the positive test rate of both the serum tests and the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction tests shows that clinical practitioners are experienced in diagnosing dengue fever infections, and are able to identify suspected cases and collect samples for early prevention and treatment. In 2007, 77 residents from the Tainan Municipal Honorable Citizens’ Home and 32 people in another residential area in Tainan were infected. This shows dengue outbreaks can occur in both crowded and less crowded residential areas. Eighty percent of imported dengue fever cases came from five countries: Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Thailand. In 2007, China also accounted for 5% of imported dengue cases in Taiwan. People travelling frequently between Taiwan and China should be alert to the risk of dengue infection. The increasing number of positive cases detected by fever screeners at international airports and sea ports also indicates that quarantine in ports plays an important role in preventing dengue fever. The biggest challenge is to detect and stop the spread of dengue cases at this first line of defense. Data from the past three years shows that the onset of dengue outbreaks seems to be occurring earlier each year. The same trend is noticeable in neighboring countries like the Philippines. However, more study is needed to establish whether global warming could be leading to earlier and more prolonged dengue fever outbreaks in Taiwan.
Keywords:Dengue fever, Contactors, Fever screening at airports and sea port