Analysis of the effect of fever screening at Taoyuan International Airport
2008 Vol.24 NO.1
Correspondence Author： Hui-Yi Chien
In 2003, Asia was under the terrifying shadows of SARS. Many public places, in particular, international airports, were under close surveillance for SARS. In order to effectively seal off the import of possible SARS cases, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set up fever screening stations at airports to monitor incoming passengers, hoping to prevent importation of infectious diseases.
Analysis of the effect of fever screening at Taoyuan International Airport showed: between January 2005 and May 2007, fever screening detected 90 cases of dengue fever, 34 cases of shigellosis, 2 cases of malaria, and one case of each of the following, chikungunya fever, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, and paratyphoid. Dengue fever and shigellosis were the most commonly found diseases. Compared to all dengue fever cases nationwide, the percentage of imported cases of dengue fever rose from 11.8% in 1996, when only surveys were used to identify cases, to 51.85% by May 2007. Furthermore, those cases identified at Taoyuan International Airport consist 66.7% of all import cases. Compared
all shigellosis cases nationwide, the percentage of imported cases of shigellosis
also rose from 22.5% in 1996 to 55% in 2007. Currently, shigellosis consists of 57.89% of all imported cases identified at Taoyuan International Airport. Most positive cases were found during summer vacation, most frequently in travelers arriving from Southeast Asian countries. Cases of dengue fever mainly came from Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, while cases of shigellosis came from China, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
By the end of May 2007, April was the month with the largest numbers of imported dengue fever and shigellosis cases, and most of the cases came from Indonesia. Because the peak season for imported dengue fever and shigellosis occur during summer vacation, to effectively control outbreaks and prevent importation of infectious diseases from other countries, the Second Branch of CDC will focus efforts on disseminating health information and prevention messages to travel agencies, foreign workers, foreign spouses, and travelers returning from endemic Southeast Asian countries.
Keywords: fever screening, dengue fever, shigellosis, travelers