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Update on number of dengue fever cases
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 5) 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.
     Regarding imported confirmed cases in 2017, from December 29 to 31, two cases were recorded and the patients had been to Vietnam and Malaysia during the incubation period (IP). In 2017, 100 imported cases were confirmed so far, mainly from Thailand (20), the Philippines (13), Sri Lanka (12) and Vietnam (12). As for local cases, one was recorded in 2017.
     In 2018, as of yesterday (January 4), one imported case had been recorded and the patient had been to India during the IP.
     Dengue remains endemic in some areas in Asia. The latest figures revealed that 52 048 cases were recorded in Thailand in 2017, and 58 cases had been recorded in Singapore since December 31, 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, January 5, 2018
Issued at HKT 16:25
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