Go to main content
Update on dengue fever
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 10) reported the latest number of dengue fever (DF) cases, and strongly urged the public to maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures both locally and during travel.

     From January 3 to 9, the CHP recorded four imported DF cases. The patients had respectively been to the Philippines (three cases) and Thailand (one case) during the incubation period.

     As of January 9, a total of four cases of DF had been recorded in 2020, all of which were imported cases. In 2019, 198 cases were recorded (comprising 197 imported cases and one local case), as compared with 163 cases recorded in 2018. The imported cases in 2019 were mainly from Thailand (34), Malaysia (27) and the Philippines (25).

     The CHP has been closely monitoring the latest DF situation in neighbouring and overseas areas. DF is endemic in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world. According to the World Health Organization, some Asian countries were experiencing unusually high numbers of DF cases in 2019. The numbers of cases in some countries were significantly higher than the numbers in 2018, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
     Separately, according to the Health Commission of Guangdong Province, as of November 30 last year, a total of 5 986 cases had been recorded in Guangdong in 2019, which was significantly higher than that in the same period in 2018 (3 250 cases). In Taiwan, 640 cases (including 100 local cases) had been recorded in 2019 and as of yesterday, seven imported cases (none local) have been recorded in 2020.

     Detailed information on the latest DF situation in Hong Kong as well as neighbouring and overseas countries and areas has been uploaded to the CHP's website (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/df_imported_cases_and_overseas_figures_eng.pdf). Members of the public should stay vigilant and carry out effective mosquito prevention and control measures.

     ‚Äč"Apart from general measures, travellers returning from areas affected by DF 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 for the CHP said.

     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.

     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 following pages for more information: the DF page of the CHP and the Travel Health Service, the latest Travel Health Newstips for using insect repellents, and the CHP Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.
Ends/Friday, January 10, 2020
Issued at HKT 17:18
Today's Press Releases