The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 23) provided an update on the number of cases of dengue fever (DF) in Hong Kong, and called on the public to take preventive measures to guard against DF.

Aedes mosquito
Aedes aegypti image/CDC

Five new confirmed cases were recorded between January 16 and 22, involving five patients who had travelled to the Philippines (one case), Myanmar (one case), Indonesia (two cases) and Thailand (one case) during the incubation period. As of January 22, there had been 11 confirmed cases of DF in Hong Kong this year, which were all imported cases.

DF is a common mosquito-borne disease. From 2005 to 2014, a total of 585 cases of DF were recorded in Hong Kong with no deaths.

“At present, no effective vaccine for DF is available. Therefore, the best preventive measures are to avoid mosquito bites and to eliminate pockets of stagnant water that serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

Travellers should take the following preventive measures against DF:

* Wear loose, light-coloured, long-sleeved tops and trousers;
* Use DEET-containing insect repellent on exposed parts of the body and clothing; and
* Use mosquito screens or nets in rooms that are not air-conditioned.

Anyone feeling unwell after returning from a trip should seek medical advice as soon as possible and provide travel details to their doctor.