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Take anti-mosquito measures in Easter and rainy season
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (April 13) again urged the public to take anti-mosquito measures against dengue fever (DF) both locally and during travel in Easter and the rainy season.

     Locally, as of yesterday (April 12), 18 DF cases had been confirmed in 2017 and imported from Thailand (six), the Philippines (four), multiple areas (three), Sri Lanka (two), and one each in Malaysia, the Maldives and Myanmar.

     Dengue remains endemic in some neighbouring and overseas areas. In Asia, the latest figures of 2017 revealed that 7 881 cases have been recorded in Thailand, 791 in Singapore and 53 in Japan since January 2. In the Americas, 70 843 cases were filed in Brazil.

     In the rainy season, the public should take heed of the following advice on mosquito control:
  • Thoroughly check all gully traps, roof gutters, surface channels and drains to prevent blockage;
  • Scrub and clean drains and surface channels with an alkaline detergent compound at least once a week to remove any deposited mosquito eggs;
  • Properly dispose of refuse, such as soft drink cans, empty bottles and boxes, in covered litter containers;
  • Completely change water of flowers and plants at least once a week. The use of saucers should be avoided if possible;
  • Level irregular ground surfaces before the rainy season;
  • Avoid staying in shrubby areas; and
  • Take personal protective measures such as wearing light-coloured long-sleeved clothes and long trousers and apply insect repellent containing DEET to clothing or uncovered areas of the body when doing outdoor activities.

     To reduce the risk of infections spread by mosquitoes, apart from general measures, travellers returning from affected areas should apply insect repellent for 14 days (DF) or at least 21 days (Zika Virus Infection) upon arrival in Hong Kong. If feeling unwell, seek medical advice promptly and provide travel details to the doctor. DEET-containing insect repellents are effective and the public should take heed of the tips below:
  • Read carefully the label instructions first;
  • Apply right before entering an area with risk of mosquito bites;
  • Apply on exposed skin and clothing;
  • Use DEET of up to 30 per cent for pregnant women and up to 10 per cent for children;
  • Apply sunscreen first, then insect repellent; and
  • Re-apply only whenever needed and follow the instructions.

     The public may refer to the CHP's tips for using insect repellents for details.
Ends/Thursday, April 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:30
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