In the span of 24 hours, Taiwan reported another nearly 600 cases of locally acquired dengue fever cases on Tuesday as the total cases in the country barrels toward 7,000. On Monday, the Taiwan CDC put the case tally at 6,312; however one day later health officials put the count at 6,872, an increase of 560 cases.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The number of cases confirmed Tuesday is a record high in one single day since this summer.

Nearly 99 percent of cases have been reported in the south—Tainan City (6,069) and Kaohsiung City (702).

The breakdown of cases reported yesterday is as follows: 483 cases in Tainan City, 67 cases in Kaohsiung City, 3 cases in Taipei City, 2 cases each in Taoyuan City and Pingtung County, 1 case each in Hsinchu County, Taichung City and Penghu County. Among the newly confirmed cases, the cases confirmed in Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Taichung City and Hsinchu County all became infected in Tainan City, while the case confirmed in Penghu County became infected in Kaohsiung City.

Thirty-four people are being treated for their illness in intensive care..

A cumulative total of 36 deaths suspected to be associated with dengue infection have been reported, including 34 deaths in Tainan City and 2 deaths in Kaohsiung City. As of now, 12 deaths have been reviewed. 10 deaths were found to be linked with dengue infection, while dengue infection was eliminated as the cause of death in 2 cases. 24 deaths, including 23 from Tainan City and 1 from Kaohsiung City, are still waiting to be reviewed.

With the surge in cases, more than 2,500 cases in a week, the Taiwan CDC invited the vector biology and tropical medicine expert Professor Cheng-Chen Chen of National Yang-Ming University to share his expertise. Professor Chen explained that to effectively control and prevent dengue fever, efforts should target vector habitats and reminded that as eliminating vector breeding sites is still the single most effective way to bring the outbreak under control, everyone should clean the vector breeding sources in and around their residences.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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