The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) reported Saturday the first autochthonous, or locally acquired dengue fever (DF) case since 2010 in a Sha Tin man.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

Dr Leung Ting-hung, controller of the CHP made the announcement urging the public to take precautions against mosquito-transmitted diseases.

The details of the case are as follows: 63-year-old male patient from  Pok Hong Estate, Sha Tin with a history of good health. He presented with fever, headache and generalized weakness since October 9 and consulted a private doctor on October 13. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Prince of Wales Hospital on October 16 for persisted symptoms and was then admitted for management.

His clinical diagnosis was acute DF infection and he is now afebrile in stable condition. Laboratory analysis confirmed the patient positive for the dengue antigen.

Investigation into to case reveals he worked in a construction site in Sai Ying Pun where he recalled mosquito bite, and indoors in Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) before onset. He had no recent travel history during incubation period. Earlier, he traveled to Puning and Chaozhou, Guangdong, on September 10 and returned to Hong Kong on September 11.

His home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far and will be put under medical surveillance.

Related: Japan dengue outbreak up to 144 cases, now seen in Sumida Park

The Pest Control Advisory Section of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department have stepped up mosquito control measures in the area.

“The last locally acquired DF case was recorded in 2010. In view of this local confirmed case and the DF activity remaining high in neighbouring areas, members of the public should heighten vigilance and take necessary precautions against mosquito-transmitted diseases both locally and during travel,” Dr Leung urged.

Apart from this case, as of October 23, 87 DF cases (all imported) were reported to the CHP this year. In 2013, 103 cases (all imported) were reported while 53 (all imported) were filed in 2012.

Hong Kong/CIA
Hong Kong/CIA

Related: Guangdong dengue cases top 31,000 as Guangzhou introduces invasive mosquitofish

Dengue fever is a disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, or DENV 4). The viruses aretransmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.

The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding (e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising). Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.

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