by Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The death toll of this summer’s outbreak of dengue fever reached 25 Wednesday, with last year’s record of 28 deaths likely to be broken.
Following a death toll of 18, 11 recent deaths were investigated for their connection to the disease, and seven of those were confirmed as having been caused by dengue fever, the health authorities said.
At the same time last year, only five people had died, while by the end of 2014, 28 deaths had been announced as the result of dengue fever. All but one of them had been recorded in Kaohsiung, with the other one in Tainan.
This year, it is Tainan which has been the hardest hit, with more than 9,000 of the 10,000 cases confirmed so far being located in the southern city. Efforts to fight the spread of the disease have been caught up in a war of words between the Kuomintang-led central government and the Democratic Progressive Party-controlled city government of Mayor William Lai.
The seven latest deaths were six residents of Tainan and one from Kaohsiung, or three men and four women ranging in age from 52 to 94. Most of the victims already suffered from other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, the authorities said.
A further 25 deaths were still being tested for any connection to dengue fever, according to reports.