FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Hong Kong updates number of dengue fever patients

Updated number of dengue fever patients | Courtesy of wikimedia.org

The Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) recently released an update about the nation's number of dengue fever cases.

Four additional cases were confirmed between June 2 and Thursday. Three of the patients had traveled to Indonesia, and one case had traveled to Thailand. These travels occurred during their incubation periods.

The health professionals encouraged the general public to make a habit of environmental hygiene, personal protective measures and mosquito control. 

"The number of cases recorded so far in 2015 is the highest compared with those of the corresponding period in the past 10 years (when figures ranged from seven to 33 cases),” the CHP spokesperson said. "The number of cases is expected to increase as more people will travel during the summer vacation.

"Dengue viruses encompass four different serotypes,” the spokesperson said. “The symptoms of first infection with one serotype are usually mild, but subsequent infections with other serotypes even years afterward are more likely to result in a serious complication, namely dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF)."

DHF is a severe and potentially fatal complication. Without proper treatment, the DHF case fatality rate can exceed 20 percent.

"According to the World Health Organization, although clinical trials on humans for some dengue vaccine candidates are ongoing, none are now available and registered with any drug regulatory authorities,” the spokesperson said. “Strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures hence remain the most effective means against dengue fever both locally and during travel.”

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