FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Hong Kong reports six dengue fever cases in new year

Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has reported six new dengue fever cases from Dec. 24 to Jan. 7.

All of these cases were imported; two patients were in Indonesia, two were in the Philippines, one was in Thailand, and another was in Singapore.

So far, there have been six dengue fever cases for 2016. There were 114 for 2015; 110 of these were imported, two were local, and two were unclassified.

Health leaders used this opportunity to encourage the general public to take proactive measures to avoid contracting the disease. These measures include mosquito control, strict environmental hygiene, and personal protective care whether locally or abroad.

"Dengue viruses encompass four different serotypes,” the CHP 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 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 per cent.”

Taking proactive measures is important because of the limited treatment options for dengue.

"At present, there is no locally registered dengue vaccine available in Hong Kong,” the spokesperson said. “Strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures remain the most effective means against dengue fever, both locally and during travel.”

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