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Update on dengue fever
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 26) 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 March 19 to yesterday (March 25), the CHP recorded one imported DF case. The patient had been to Indonesia during the incubation period.
    As of yesterday, one imported case of DF had been recorded this year. In 2020, 22 cases of DF had been recorded (comprising 21 imported cases and one local case). The imported cases were from the Philippines (seven), Indonesia (five), Thailand (three), India (two), Malaysia (two) and Vietnam (two).
     The CHP has been closely monitoring the latest DF situation in neighbouring and overseas areas. According to the Health Commission of Guangdong Province, as of February 28, four cases had been recorded in Guangdong this year. In Taiwan, as of yesterday, four imported cases (none local) had been recorded this year.
     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 a 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
• Reapply 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, March 26, 2021
Issued at HKT 16:55
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