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Update on chikungunya fever
     ​The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (November 18) reported the latest number of cases of chikungunya fever (CF), and again urged the public to maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures both locally and during travel.

     From November 11 to yesterday (November 17), an additional imported CF case was confirmed and the patient had been to India during the incubation period. The eight cases so far in 2016 were imported from India (seven) and the Philippines (one). In 2015 and 2014, one and two imported cases were filed respectively.

     In India, 46 099 cases have been reported to date in 2016.

     CF is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the chikungunya virus. It is clinically characterised by fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged for weeks. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.

     Chikungunya virus is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. Although one vector, Aedes aegypti, is not found in Hong Kong, the other vector, Aedes albopictus, is widely distributed locally. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon.

     "Travellers should take the general measures to avoid mosquito bites when travelling to endemic countries or where there has been an outbreak of CF. If feeling unwell upon returning to Hong Kong, 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 CF page of the CHP, 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, November 18, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:15
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