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Update on number of dengue fever cases
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (December 23) 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 December 16 to 22 one was recorded, and the patient had been to Thailand during the incubation period. As of December 22, the 118 imported cases so far in 2016 were mainly from Indonesia (36), Thailand (19) and the Philippines (18). 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, there were 533 cases as of December 14. In Asia, 60 964 cases have been filed to date in Thailand in 2016, 13 033 in Singapore since January 3, and 327 in Japan since January 4. In the Americas, the latest figures indicated that 124 580 cases were filed in Mexico in 2016.
     Dengue viruses comprise 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," a spokesman said.

     The public should call 1823 in case of mosquito problems and may visit the following pages for more information: the DF pages 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, December 23, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:01
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