By Lai Hsiao-tung,
Chiu Shu-yu and William Hetherington / Staff reporters, with staff writer
Doctors have confirmed New Taipei City’s first indigenous case of dengue fever this year, Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) told a news conference yesterday.
The man was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday last week, but has already recovered and been discharged, Hou said.
City officials are investigating the locations visited by the 44-year-old man from Jhonghe District (中和) before he contracted the disease and are to carry out preventative measures in all of the city’s districts, he added.
The efforts are to include sweeping ditches and other areas that attract mosquitoes, spraying disinfectant and patrolling areas of concern, Hou said.
The man lives in Sioushan Borough (秀山), he said, adding that officials believe that infected mosquitoes might have spread into neighboring Sioujing (秀景) and Sioucheng (秀成) boroughs.
Residents are being asked to provide their names and telephone numbers as part of disease containment efforts, Hou added.
At a separate news conference, Democratic Progressive Party New Taipei City Councilor Chang Wei-chien (張維倩) criticized the city’s dengue fever prevention efforts, saying that cleaning operations conducted on Saturday last week were ineffective.
City health officials on Tuesday night were unable to provide any information about the disease’s spread or response measures, she said, adding that she was told after calling again yesterday morning that officials were to spray disinfectant in the affected boroughs at 1pm yesterday.
Hou said that the cleanup on Saturday was preventive and that efforts were ongoing.
Asked by reporters if the city’s response to a dengue fever outbreak would be better this year than it was last year, Hou said that unstable weather has created favorable conditions for the disease, but city officials hope to get the situation under control before anyone else is infected.
District officials throughout the city must cooperate every day, he said, adding that maintaining a sanitary environment should be prioritized at all times, not just when an outbreak occurs.