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Update on number of dengue fever cases
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (April 26) 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 April 12 to 25, the CHP recorded one imported DF case. The patient had been to Thailand during the incubation period.

     As of yesterday (April 25), 40 cases had been confirmed this year, all of which were imported. The cases were mainly imported from Indonesia (eight), Malaysia (eight) and Thailand (seven). 

     DF remains endemic in some areas of Asia and beyond. In Guangdong, there were 63 cases in the first three months of this year. The latest figures for 2019 reveal that 16 635 cases had been recorded in Thailand, 55 976 in the Philippines (which was 1.8 times the number of cases reported in the same period in 2018), 36 285 in Malaysia (which was 2.5 times the number of cases reported in the same period in 2018), 2 699 in Singapore (since December 30, 2018), 48 647 in Vietnam (which was 3.5 times the number of cases reported in the same period in 2018) and 86 in Japan. In the Americas, the latest figures indicate that 439 432 and 10 581 cases were filed in Brazil and Mexico respectively in 2019.

     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 the 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 loose, light-coloured, long-sleeved tops and trousers and apply insect repellent containing DEET to clothing or exposed parts of the body when doing outdoor activities.
     To reduce the risk of infections spread by mosquitoes, apart from general measures, travellers returning from areas affected by DF and Zika virus infection should apply insect repellent for 14 days or at least 21 days respectively 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 the label instructions carefully 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.
* For children who travel to countries or areas where mosquito-borne diseases are endemic or epidemic and where exposure is likely, those aged two months or above can use DEET-containing insect repellents with a DEET concentration of up to 30 per cent.

     The public may refer to the CHP's tips for using insect repellents for details. 
Ends/Friday, April 26, 2019
Issued at HKT 15:15
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