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Humid summer sees potentially infectious mosquito numbers exceed government alert level

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The government has advised members of the public to take extra precautions against mosquitoes this summer, after an increase in the number of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes was detected in the territory.

Aedes albopictus is a species which can transmit both dengue fever and the Zika virus.

In a statement this week, a spokesperson for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced that the monthly Ovitrap index, used to measure the number of the mosquitoes in Hong Kong, rose to 13.5% in June, up from 9.3% in May, with eight areas exceeding the alert level of 20%. The area with the highest reading was Tseung Kwan O North (35%), followed by Tsing Yi North (27.8%) and Tsuen Wan Town (26.8%).

An inter-departmental anti-mosquito response mechanism has been activated in the eight alert-level areas to try and eliminate existing and potential breeding grounds.

The FEHD will also conduct additional control exercises across the city from August 1 though to October 31, due to the increased risk posed by people travelling to Brazil for the Olympic games this summer, where the Zika virus is most prevalent.

Members of the public are reminded to be “vigilant” during this time and wear appropriate clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Insect repellant should be applied to exposed skin. The FEHD reminded the public that “effective mosquito control requires the sustained efforts of all parties concerned. The community must work together with the government to take effective mosquito control measures.”

Image: Wikipedia

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