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CHP investigates local case of dengue fever
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (November 4) investigating a local case of dengue fever (DF), and hence again urged the public to maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures both locally and during travel.
     The patient is a 35-year-old man with good past health. He has developed fever, myalgia and arthralgia since October 25 and rash on October 29. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital on November 1 and was admitted for treatment on the same day. He is now in a stable condition.

     His blood samples tested positive for dengue virus upon laboratory testing.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient lived in Fung Yuen Lo Tsuen in Tai Po and have stayed in Siu Sau Tsuen in Tuen Mun and the Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk Hang for work. He had no travel history within the incubation period. He could not recall history of mosquito bites and reported use of insect repellents.

     His home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far and have been put under medical surveillance.

      "We are working closely with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) to assess and prevent possible spread of infection. The FEHD's vector investigations, surveillance and control are ongoing. Our epidemiological investigations are ongoing," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     Officers of the CHP will conduct site visit and field investigations by questionnaire surveys at the patient's residence. A health talk will also be held jointly with the FEHD to deliver relevant health advice.

      Persons who have been to Fung Yuen Lo Tsuen in Tai Po, Siu Sau Tsuen in Tuen Mun and the Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk Hang with DF symptoms should call the CHP's hotline (2125 1122) operating from 9am to 5.45pm tomorrow (November 5) onwards for laboratory investigation or referral as appropriate.

     "We will issue letters to local doctors and hospitals to alert them to the latest situation," the spokesman added.

     This is the first local DF case recorded this year. Excluding this case, so far 179 imported cases had been recorded 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 light-coloured long-sleeved clothes and 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 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 2 months or above can use DEET-containing insect repellents with a DEET concentration of up to 30 per cent.

     The public should call 1823 in case of mosquito problems and may visit the DF pages of the CHP and its Travel Health Service, the latest Travel Health Newstips for using insect repellents, the CHP Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, and the FEHD's Guidebook on Control and Prevention of Mosquito Breeding for more information.
Ends/Monday, November 4, 2019
Issued at HKT 21:17
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