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Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee on Mosquito-borne Diseases updated on local case of dengue fever (with photo)

     The Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee on Mosquito-borne Diseases (ICC) convened an urgent meeting this afternoon (October 27) to follow up on the local case of dengue fever (DF) and provide updates on the latest situation of the disease as well as local prevention and control measures.

     "We are highly concerned about the case and are working closely with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) for all-out efforts to assess and prevent any spread of infection," the Chairman of the ICC and Controller of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH), Dr Leung Ting-hung, said.

     At the meeting, representatives of 20 government bureaux/departments (B/Ds) and organisation discussed the local case, re-examined the epidemiology of DF, and reaffirmed the importance of effective mosquito control. The CHP solicited support from B/Ds on the prevention and control of DF, including enhanced surveillance, active case finding, vector control and public education.

     "The CHP has sent letters to doctors to alert them to the occurrence of the local DF case and enhanced the surveillance on suspected DF cases in collaboration with public hospitals under the Hospital Authority (HA), private hospitals and private doctors since October 25. Early referral and prompt control are critical to prevent further local spread of DF," Dr Leung said.

     Officers of the CHP have been conducting field investigation at the patient's residence and workplace by active case finding. As of noon today, 296 questionnaires have been collected and none are symptomatic, while two residents undertook blood tests.

     Persons who frequented Pok Hong Estate, Sai Ying Pun or Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital with symptoms suggesting DF should call the CHP's public enquiry hotline (2125 1122) for laboratory investigation or referral to hospital as appropriate. The hotline will operate from 9am to 6pm and four calls were received as of 5pm.

     Another health talk will be held with the FEHD at 7pm today in Sai Ying Pun Community Complex Community Hall to deliver health advice. Earlier, a total of 66 persons attended the health talks in Pok Hong Community Hall, Sha Tin, and at the construction site in Sai Ying Pun.

     Locally, apart from the last DF cluster recorded in September 2010, the majority of DF cases were imported from endemic areas, mostly in Southeast Asia. As of yesterday (October 26), 89 DF cases (88 imported, one local) were reported to the CHP this year. In 2013 and 2012, 103 and 53 cases were filed respectively and all were imported.

     The CHP noted the recent upsurge in DF cases in Guangdong since September and the cumulative number of cases this year increased from 2 175 on September 11 to 41 155 as of yesterday and most are from Guangzhou. Separately, in Taiwan, 7 546 DF cases were reported so far this year, more than eight times that in 2013. The DF activity is high, especially in southern Taiwan. DF activity has also remained high in Southeast Asia including various popular tourist attractions such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, with 29 925, 16 549 and 80 578 cases recorded this year respectively.

     "We again urge the public to take necessary precautions against mosquito-transmitted diseases both locally and during travel, particularly to DF-endemic areas. Mosquito control is of utmost importance to prevent the spread of DF," Dr Leung stressed.

     "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 said.

     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.

     Participating B/Ds and organisation of the ICC include the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the Architectural Services Department, the Civil Engineering and Development Department, the Drainage Services Department, the Education Bureau, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the Environmental Protection Department, the FEHD, the DH, the Highways Department, the Home Affairs Department, the HA, the Housing Department, the Information Services Department, the Lands Department, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Marine Department, the Social Welfare Department, the Transport Department and the Water Supplies Department.

Ends/Monday, October 27, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:20


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