Update on number of dengue fever cases

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (September 29) reported the latest number of cases of dengue fever (DF), and again urged the public to maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures both locally and during travel.

     From September 22 to 28, the CHP recorded one confirmed DF case. The patient had been to the Philippines during the incubation period.

     As of September 28, a total of 79 cases of dengue fever had been confirmed in 2017, including one local case. The 78 imported cases were mainly imported from Thailand (20), the Philippines (12) and Sri Lanka (11).

     Dengue remains endemic in some areas in Asia. The latest figures for 2017 reveal that 38 756 cases have been recorded in Thailand, 2 101 in Singapore and 177 in Japan (since January 2). Moreover, five local cases have been recorded in Taiwan this year. In the Americas, the latest figures indicated that 219 040 cases were filed in Brazil and 37 613 in Mexico in 2017.

     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 the 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.

     To reduce the risk of infections spread by mosquitoes, apart from general measures, travellers returning from affected areas should apply insect repellent for 14 days (DF) or at least 21 days (Zika Virus Infection) upon arrival in Hong Kong. If feeling unwell, seek medical advice promptly and provide travel details to the doctor. DEET-containing insect repellents are effective and the public should take heed of the tips below:
  • Read carefully the label instructions first;
  • Apply right before entering an area with risk of mosquito bites;
  • Apply on exposed skin and clothing;
  • Use DEET of up to 30 per cent for pregnant women and up to 10 per cent for children;
  • Apply sunscreen first, then insect repellent; and
  • Re-apply only when needed and follow the instructions.

     The public may refer to the CHP's tips for using insect repellents for details.

Ends/Friday, September 29, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:30