The Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Ministry of Health on Friday (26/7/2019) reported a number of the latest cases of dengue fever (DF) and chikungunya fever (CF) and said 16 of them were imported from Indonesia.
Through media broadcasts, CHP appealed to the public to strictly maintain environmental hygiene, and to take mosquito control and personal protection measures both locally and during travel.
As of July 25, CHP noted that the number of cases had increased from 51 to 95 cases in the previous year. All cases recorded in 2019 were imported cases in the sense that they were carried by people who had traveled, mainly from Malaysia 17 people, Thailand 17 people and Indonesia 16 people.
CHP has been closely monitoring the latest DF situation in neighboring areas and overseas. DF is endemic in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Detailed information on the latest DF situation in Hong Kong as well as neighboring and overseas countries and regions this year has been uploaded to the CHP website.
According to ovitrap data from the Department of Hygiene and Food, the monthly ovitrap index for Aedes albopictus rose from 11 percent in May to 16 percent in June, indicating that mosquito infestations were slightly more widespread in the areas surveyed. Residents of the community, especially residents in areas with widespread mosquito attacks, are expected to remain vigilant and take effective mosquito prevention and control measures.
“Despite general measures, travelers returning from DF-affected areas must use insect repellent for 14 days after arriving in Hong Kong. If you feel unwell, seek medical advice immediately and provide travel details to a doctor,” a CHP spokesperson said.
Meanwhile from July 19 to 25, CHP confirmed one case of chikungunya. The patient had been to Thailand during the incubation period. As of yesterday (25 July), five confirmed CF cases had been recorded this year, all of which were imported cases from Thailand.
CF is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the chikungunya virus. Clinically characterized by fever which is often accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle aches, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and rash. Joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or can last for weeks. Most patients make a full recovery, but in some cases joint pain can persist for months, or even years.
Chikungunya virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Although the Aedes aegypti vector is not found in Hong Kong, another vector, Aedes albopictus, is widely distributed locally. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout the day, although there may be peak activity in the morning and evening.