Hong Kong officials report 24th dengue fever case

A recent update from the Health Department’s Center for Health Protection (CHP) brings the number of dengue fever cases in Hong Kong to 24 for 2015. The latest dengue fever case was confirmed between April 17 and 23.

The patient had traveled to Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia during the period of incubation. All 24 cases in Hong Kong this year were imported. In 2014, there were 108 imported dengue fever cases and three local cases; in 2013, there were 103 imported cases. Health professionals encourage the public to maintain personal protection, mosquito control and proper hygiene to prevent contracting dengue fever.

“Dengue viruses encompass four different serotypes,” a CHP spokesperson said. “The symptoms of first infection with one are usually mild, but subsequent infections with the others are more likely to result in a serious complication, namely dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). DHF is a severe and potentially fatal complication. Without proper treatment, the DHF case fatality rate can exceed 20 percent.”

“According to the World Health Organization, although clinical trials on humans for some dengue vaccine candidates are ongoing, none are now available and registered with any drug regulatory authorities,” the CHP spokesperson said. “Strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures hence remain the most effective means against dengue fever, both locally and during travel.”

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