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July monthly ovitrap index continues to fall

     The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (August 21) that the monthly ovitrap index for July dropped to 10.4 per cent from 11.7 per cent in June.

     "Although the index has declined, the public should stay alert to the risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases and step up anti-mosquito measures as the current hot and rainy weather is favourable to mosquito breeding," an FEHD spokesman said.

     The ovitrap indices reflect the prevalence of Aedes albopictus, a mosquito vector for dengue fever transmission.

     Among the 44 areas surveyed last month, positive ovitrap indices were recorded in 43 areas, ranging from 2 per cent to 41.4 per cent, with the highest level being in Ma On Shan.

     In five areas where the Area Ovitrap Index (AOI) exceeded the alert level of 20 per cent, an inter-departmental anti-mosquito response mechanism has been activated, the spokesman said.

     In addition to the regular weekly programme, the FEHD will clear potential mosquito breeding grounds in public places and apply larvicides to stagnant water where appropriate, he said. It will also handle mosquito complaints promptly and take out prosecutions under the relevant ordinance against mosquito breeding.

     The government departments concerned have also stepped up inspections and measures to enhance environmental hygiene in areas within their ambits. The aim is to eliminate existing and potential mosquito breeding grounds.

     The spokesman said, "Furthermore, relevant departments have individually notified the groups that had voluntarily subscribed to the ovitrap rapid alert system when the AOI reached the alert level.

     "Subscribers have been invited to post specially designed alert notices in the commonly used parts of their premises to urge occupants and staff to take mosquito prevention and control measures promptly."

     As for the port areas, the monthly ovitrap index for July also fell to 2.2 per cent from 2.5 per cent in June.

     To enhance public awareness of the potential risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis, the third phase of the territory-wide anti-mosquito campaign was launched this Monday (August 18). It will last for eight weeks until October 10.

     During the campaign period, relevant government departments and public bodies will strengthen mosquito prevention and control measures as well as publicity efforts in various districts. The first two phases were completed in March and July.

     The spokesman advised the public and estate management bodies to scrub all drains and surface sewers, and to limewash them with an alkaline detergent compound at least once a week to remove any mosquito eggs. They should also keep drains free of blockage and fill up all depressions to prevent puddles from forming.

     People should inspect their homes and surroundings to remove potential breeding grounds, scrub vases and pot plant saucers at least once a week, properly dispose of containers such as soft drink cans and lunch boxes, and drill large holes in unused tyres, he said.

     "After rainfall, people should immediately remove water from balconies, rooftops and courtyards," the spokesman added.

     Moreover, travellers are advised to take the following precautionary measures when visiting areas where mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent during the summer holidays:

* Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothes and trousers;
* Use insect repellents over exposed parts of the body when outdoors; and
* Use mosquito screens or nets when a room is not air-conditioned.

     Travellers returning from these places should seek medical advice if they have symptoms such as fever, severe headache or muscle and joint pain. They should also inform their doctor of their travel history.

     The ovitrap indices and information on anti-mosquito measures under the Anti-mosquito Weekly Inspection Programme are available on the department website at

Ends/Thursday, August 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:01


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