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CHP investigates local confirmed case of dengue fever

     The Controller of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH), Dr Leung Ting-hung, today (October 25) announced the investigation into a local confirmed case of dengue fever (DF), and hence again urged the public to take precautions against mosquito-transmitted diseases.

     The male patient aged 63, with good past health, has presented with fever, headache and generalised weakness since October 9 and consulted a private doctor on October 13. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Prince of Wales Hospital on October 16 for persisted symptoms and was then admitted for management.

     His clinical diagnosis was acute DF infection and he is now afebrile in stable condition.

     The patient's blood sample taken on October 17 sent to the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP today was tested positive for dengue antigen. Based on this result and other earlier presumptive laboratory findings, together with the clinical course of illness, the diagnosis of recent dengue fever infection was confirmed today.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient lives in Pok Hong Estate, Sha Tin. He worked in a construction site in Sai Ying Pun where he recalled mosquito bite, and indoors in Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) before onset. He had no recent travel history during incubation period. Earlier, he travelled to Puning and Chaozhou, Guangdong, on September 10 and returned to Hong Kong on September 11.

     Mosquito control measures have been started by Pest Control Advisory Section of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) yesterday (October 24) when the patient was still a suspected case. Upon notification and laboratory confirmation, CHP immediately commenced epidemiological investigation and promptly informed the FEHD for further vector investigation and mosquito control as well as the management office of Pok Hong Estate, the MTR Corporation Limited and the Hospital Authority for their corresponding follow-up actions. The CHP's investigations and health education in the vicinity where the patient had frequented are proceeding.

     His home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far and will be put under medical surveillance.

     Officers of the CHP will conduct surveys among neighbours of the patient's residence and the construction site in Sai Ying Pun for active case finding and arranging blood tests. The CHP's hotline (2125 1122) for public enquiries will operate till 9pm today and from 9am to 6pm tomorrow (October 26) onwards.

     Two joint health talks with the FEHD have been held in Pok Hong Community Hall, Sha Tin, this evening to deliver health advice to the public. Persons who had been to Pok Hong Estate in Sha Tin, Sai Ying Pun MTR construction site or PYNEH and with DF symptoms are advised to promptly seek medical attention.

     "The Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee on Mosquito-borne Diseases will convene a meeting next week to reinforce mosquito prevention measures and anti-mosquito work of respective departments and organization. We will issue letters to doctors and private hospitals to draw their attention to the case and enlist their support in early diagnosis, control and prevention of DF," Dr Leung added.

     "The last locally acquired DF case was recorded in 2010. In view of this local confirmed case and the DF activity remaining high in neighbouring areas, members of the public should heighten vigilance and take necessary precautions against mosquito-transmitted diseases both locally and during travel," Dr Leung urged.

     Apart from this case, as of October 23, 87 DF cases (all imported) were reported to the CHP this year. In 2013, 103 cases (all imported) were reported while 53 (all imported) were filed in 2012.

     "At present, no effective vaccine for DF is available. Therefore, the best preventive measures are to avoid mosquito bites and to eliminate pockets of stagnant water that serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes," Dr Leung reminded.

     Travellers should take the following preventive measures against DF:

* Wear loose, light-coloured, long-sleeved tops and trousers;
* Use DEET-containing insect repellent on exposed parts of the body and clothing; and
* Use mosquito screens or nets in rooms that are not air-conditioned.

     Anyone feeling unwell after returning from a trip should seek medical advice as soon as possible and provide travel details to their doctor.

     Members of the public should also avoid accumulation of stagnant water by:

* Disposing of all used cans and containers in covered rubbish bins;
* Changing the water in vases with plants once a week in order to prevent accumulation of stagnant water in the saucers;
* Covering all containers, wells and water storage points;
* Ensuring air-conditioner drip trays are free of stagnant water;
* Keeping all drains clear; and
* Paving all uneven ground.

     The public may visit the CHP's DF page ( or that of the DH's Travel Health Service ( for further information on DF and outbreaks in other areas. Travel agents, tour guides and travellers can check the latest news and advice on preventive measures.

     More information on mosquito control can be found on the FEHD's website (

     "Vector-borne diseases" is the theme of this year's World Health Day (WHD) of the World Health Organization. The public may visit the CHP's WHD Page ( for more information.

Ends/Saturday, October 25, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:54


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