Update on number of dengue fever cases

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (September 8) 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.

     From September 1 to 7, the CHP recorded two confirmed DF cases. The patients had been to Thailand and Malaysia respectively during the incubation period.

     As of September 7, the 70 imported cases in 2017 were mainly imported from Thailand (19), the Philippines (11) and Sri Lanka (11). One local case and another case with the source of infection under investigation have been recorded so far this year.

     Dengue remains endemic in some areas in Asia. The latest figures for 2017 reveal that 34 459 cases have been recorded in Thailand, 1 958 in Singapore and 145 in Japan (since January 2). In the Americas, the latest figures indicated that 214 990 cases were filed in Brazil in 2017.

     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 when needed and follow the instructions.

      The public may refer to the CHP's tips for using insect repellents for details.

Ends/Friday, September 8, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:30