Update on number of cases of dengue fever

     In view of the dengue fever (DF) activity in neighbouring areas remaining at a high level, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (November 28) provided an update on the number of cases of DF in Hong Kong, and called on the public to take necessary preventive measures to guard against DF.

     Two new cases were reported from November 14 to 27 and involve two patients who had travelled to or stayed in Malaysia and the Maldives respectively during the incubation period. As of November 27, there had been 104 confirmed cases of DF in Hong Kong this year, including 101 imported cases and three local cases.

     DF is a common mosquito-borne disease. From 2004 to 2013, a total of 505 cases of DF were recorded in Hong Kong with no death cases.

     "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," a spokesman for the CHP 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.

     The latest information on DF in other places can be found under "Travel Health News" on the Hong Kong Travel Health Service website at www.travelhealth.gov.hk/eindex.html.

     Travel agents, tour guides and travellers can visit the website for the latest news and advice on preventive measures.

     Members of the public should avoid the 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.

     More information on mosquito control can be found on the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's website at www.fehd.gov.hk/english/safefood/handbook_prev_mos_breeding.html.

Ends/Friday, November 28, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:02