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Hong Kong records first case of locally-contracted dengue fever

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Mosquito Control officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) were called to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Central at the weekend after a 60-year-old woman from Mid-Levels tested positive for dengue fever.

It is not completely clear whether the woman contracted the virus there, as she also recalled being bitten by a mosquito on a trip to Guangzhou in mainland China last month, however the Secretary for Food and Health, Ko Wing-man, said that it would be treated like a local case. The Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee on Mosquito-borne Diseases will now meet to review the steps that need to be taken to strengthen Hong Kong’s anti-mosquito measures.

Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating disease that can cause high fever, severe headaches, vomiting and joint and muscle pain. Sometimes symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of influenza, however in severe cases the disease can be fatal.

An estimated 390 million cases of dengue infections occur worldwide each year, with around one third resulting in illness. So far this year, there have been 69 confirmed cases of the disease in Hong Kong. This is the first case believed to have been contracted locally.

Image: Wikipedia

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