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Update on number of dengue fever cases
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (October 28) 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 cases, from October 7 to 27, four were recorded and the patients had been to Indonesia (two cases), Malaysia (one case) and the Philippines (one case) during the incubation period. As of October 27, the 105 imported cases so far in 2016 were mainly from Indonesia (35), the Philippines (16) and Thailand (14). As for local cases, four have been detected to date in 2016.
     The CHP has been closely monitoring the latest dengue situation in neighbouring and overseas areas. In Guangdong, 30 cases were reported in the past week and most (22) were local cases with 17 from Guangzhou. This brings the total number of cases in 2016 to 434 as of October 23, of which 322 were local cases. The cases were mainly from Guangzhou, Chaozhou and Foshan.
     In Asia, 377 local cases have been filed to date in Taiwan in 2016, 50 856 cases in Thailand, and 12 413 in Singapore since January 3, and 293 in Japan since January 4. In the Americas, the latest figures indicated that 1 426 005 cases were filed in Brazil and 88 875 in Mexico in 2016.
     Dengue viruses encompass four serotypes, each of which can lead to DF and severe dengue (dengue haemorrhagic fever). Symptoms of first infection are usually mild. After recovery, immunity to that serotype will develop, but subsequent infections of other serotypes are more likely to result in severe dengue, which is potentially fatal.
     DF is transmitted to humans by the bites of infective Aedes mosquitoes. When a dengue patient is bitten by a mosquito, it is infected and may spread the disease by biting other people. In Hong Kong, the principal vector, Aedes aegypti, is not found, but the prevailing species, Aedes albopictus, can also spread the disease.
     There is no locally registered dengue vaccine in Hong Kong. Eliminating stagnant water as breeding sites for mosquitoes and avoiding mosquito bites are key to preventing DF.
     "Apart from general measures, travellers returning from affected areas should apply insect repellent for 14 days upon arrival in Hong Kong. If feeling unwell, seek medical advice promptly and provide travel details to the doctor," the spokesman said.

     The public should call 1823 in case of mosquito problems and may visit the following pages for more information: the DF page of the CHP and the Travel Health Service, the latest Travel Health Newstips for using insect repellents, the CHP Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's Guidebook on Control and Prevention of Mosquito Breeding.
Ends/Friday, October 28, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:20
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