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CHP investigates local case of dengue fever
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (April 15) 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 an 84-year-old man with underlying illnesses. He was found to have fever during a consultation at a general out-patient clinic in Yuen Long on April 3 for his underlying illnesses. His deep throat saliva specimen was tested negative for the COVID-19 virus on April 6. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Pok Oi Hospital on April 7 due to persistent fever and was transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital for management on the same day. He is now in a stable condition. His blood sample was tested positive for dengue virus upon laboratory testing.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient lives with his wife in Sung Shan New Village in Yuen Long. He regularly visited the backyard garden of another family member in the same village for farming. He had no travel history within the incubation period. He claimed that there were mosquitoes in the village and the backyard garden but could not recall history of mosquito bites.

     His wife and other family members who live in the same village 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 has conducted site visit and field investigations by questionnaire surveys at the patient's residence and also deliver relevant health advice.

     Persons who have been to Sung Shan New Village in Yuen Long with DF symptoms should call the CHP's hotline (2125 2374) which will operate from 9am to 9pm tomorrow (April 16) onwards for laboratory investigation or referral as appropriate.

     "We will issue letters to local doctors, hospitals, institutions and schools 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 19 imported DF cases had been recorded this year.
 
     ‚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," the spokesman 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/Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Issued at HKT 20:18
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