The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has confirmed six new cases of dengue fever in Hong Kong.
In a statement on August 19, a spokesman for the CHP said that the patients had all recently travelled abroad – one to Thailand, one to Vietnam, two to Cambodia and two to the Philippines.
The report warned that the return of many Hong Kongers from vacations in other areas of Southeast Asia, as well as Olympic host-country Brazil, has raised the risk of importation of the vector-born disease, and urged the public to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
The spokesman said that “all sectors should step up efforts on mosquito control” and advised that “strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures remain the most effective means” of controlling the spread of the disease.
A total of 79 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in Hong Kong this year, only one of which was believed to have been contracted locally.
Dengue fever is a debilitating viral disease that is transmitted via the Aedes albopictus mosquito. The incubation period for the disease ranges from three to 14 days. Travellers who return from affected areas and feel unwell are advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Members of the public who detect problems with mosquitoes should call the government hotline on 1823.