WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Health Department officials discuss dengue fever interventions

ICC holds discussion on dengue fever interventions | Courtesy of wikipedia.org
The Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee (ICC) on Mosquito-borne Diseases recently held a meeting to determine the best interventions in controlling mosquitoes to address the dengue fever (DF) situation.

Health officials have confirmed 97 cases of dengue fever this year, a notably higher rate than in 2014.

The attendees decided to use further mosquito control actions throughout the coming winter months.

"In view of an expected warmer upcoming winter under the El Nino phenomenon, the dengue activity might increase and hence the public should remain vigilant against DF,” Leung Ting-hung, the chairman of the ICC and the controller of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health, said. “We are again concerned that if local transmission is established, a rapid surge of cases may be observed within a short period and the number of cases could reach tens of thousands. Strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures remain the most effective means against DF both locally and during travel.”

As part of the improved mosquito control actions, the committee encourages the public to report if they find any signs of mosquitoes breeding. If sighted, people should call the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department hotline at 1823.

"Dengue viruses encompass four different serotypes,” Leung 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 severe dengue, also known as dengue haemorrhagic fever. Severe dengue is serious and potentially fatal. Without proper treatment, the case fatality rate of severe dengue can exceed 20 percent.”

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