Anti-mosquito measures urged on festive occasion

     ‚ÄčThe Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (October 4) reminded the public to carry out preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites while celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival.

     "With showers and occasional rain forecast today and tomorrow respectively, removing stagnant water quickly in outdoor and household settings is important in stopping mosquitoes from breeding. During outdoor activities such as visiting parks, grass pitches and beaches, apply DEET-containing mosquito repellents to exposed parts of the body and clothing," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "Apart from personal protective measures, members of the public should also maintain strict environmental hygiene. As a regular habit, the public should change the water in vases once a week, clear the water in saucers under potted plants every week, and ensure air-conditioner drip trays are free of stagnant water," the spokesman said.

     Regarding the latest dengue fever situation, as of October 3, a total of 79 cases had been confirmed in 2017, comprising one local and 78 imported cases mainly from Thailand (20), the Philippines (12) and Sri Lanka (11).

     Dengue remains endemic in some areas in Asia. The latest figures of 2017 revealed that 39 977 cases had been recorded in Thailand, 2 131 in Singapore and 187 in Japan (since January 2). In the Americas, 41 555 cases were recorded 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/Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:05