Hong Kong tests dengue preparedness

The Hong Kong Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection conducted a preparedness drill on Monday to determine how prepared the country was for community outbreaks of dengue fever.

The simulated exercise, which was codenamed "Exercise Coral," tested the preparedness of government departments and organizations against the mosquito-borne dengue virus. The scenario centered on the identification of a Lantau resident as the first locally-confirmed case of dengue fever since 2010.

The participants identified three additional suspected dengue fever cases nearby through active case finding.

Senior representatives from various government departments also took part in a simulation exercise in which they conducted an interdepartmental coordinating committee meeting on dengue fever chaired by the controller of the CHP. During the meeting, the attendees discussed existing anti-mosquito work and agreed on strategies to control and contain the disease.

"The exercise has tested the government's response measures for the control of (dengue fever)," a spokesperson for the DH, said. "It has also focused on the preparedness and response actions of relevant government departments and organizations."

The ground exercise stimulated field investigation and intervention measures on mosquito control while providing educational health activities for the involved community. The exercise helped the participants to practice the implementation of a coordinated and timely response for disease control strategy.

"The exercise provided a valuable opportunity for relevant parties of the public sector to test their preparedness and identify areas for improvement," the spokesperson said. "The government is committed to maintaining preparedness against any possible outbreak of (dengue fever)."