Update on dengue fever and chikungunya fever

     ​The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (September 22) reported the latest number of cases of dengue fever (DF) and chikungunya fever (CF), and again urged the public to maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures both locally and during travel.

A. Dengue fever

    ​From September 15 to yesterday (September 21), the CHP recorded two confirmed DF cases. The patients had been to Nepal and Vietnam respectively during the incubation period.

     ​As of yesterday, a total of 78 cases of dengue fever had been confirmed in 2017, including one local case. The 77 imported cases were mainly imported from Thailand (20), the Philippines (11) and Sri Lanka (11).

     ​Dengue remains endemic in some areas in Asia. In Guangdong, there were 310 cases in 2017 as of September 15. In Asia, the latest figures of 2017 reveal that 37 392 cases have been recorded in Thailand, 2 056 in Singapore and 170 in Japan (since January 2).

     ​"Apart from general measures, travellers returning from areas affected by DF should apply insect repellent for 14 days upon arrival in Hong Kong. If feeling unwell, seek medical advice promptly and provide travel details to the doctor," the spokesman said.

B. Chikungunya fever

​     From September 15 to yesterday, the CHP recorded one confirmed CF case. The patient had been to India, Thailand and Singapore during the incubation period.

     As of yesterday, one confirmed case of CF had been recorded in 2017.

     CF is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the chikungunya virus. It is clinically characterised by fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged for weeks. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.

     Chikungunya virus is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. Although one vector, Aedes aegypti, is not found in Hong Kong, the other vector, Aedes albopictus, is widely distributed locally. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon.

     The public should take heed of the following advice on mosquito control:
  •  Thoroughly check all gully traps, roof gutters, surface channels and drains to prevent blockage;
  •  Scrub and clean drains and surface channels with an alkaline detergent compound at least once a week to remove any deposited mosquito eggs;
  •  Properly dispose of refuse, such as soft drink cans, empty bottles and boxes, in covered litter containers;
  •  Completely change water of flowers and plants at least once a week. The use of saucers should be avoided if possible;
  •  Level irregular ground surfaces before the rainy season;
  •  Avoid staying in shrubby areas; and
  •  Take personal protective measures such as wearing light-coloured long-sleeved clothes and long trousers and apply insect repellent containing DEET to clothing or uncovered areas of the body when doing outdoor activities.

     The public should call 1823 in case of mosquito problems and may visit the following pages for more information: the DF page of the CHP and the Travel Health Service, the CF page of the CHP, the latest Travel Health Newstips for using insect repellents, the CHP Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's Guidebook on Control and Prevention of Mosquito Breeding.

Ends/Friday, September 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:45