Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Hong Kong: SFH On The Dengue Fever Threat


With a population of nearly 7 million, a constant influx of international visitors, and the 4th highest population density in the world, Hong Kong is one of those cities where imported infectious diseases are always a concern.

And while Hong Kong has worried most publicly about SARS, avian flu, and MERS - when you add in a humid subtropical climate and a competent mosquito vector - vector borne diseases like Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya move up the list as well. 

Yesterday, in HK CHP Investigating 3rd Locally Acquired Case Of Dengue Fever, we looked at the investigation of the third Dengue case since early August.  Today the Secretary for Food & Health, Dr. Ko Wing-man, addressed questions from the press. 

Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after attending the opening ceremony of Kwun Tong Community Health Centre of Kowloon East Cluster today (September 7):

Reporter: On the third local dengue fever case, do you see more cases to be discovered in the Central district and is it possible that there is going to be an outbreak in Hong Kong in general?

Secretary for Food and Health: Indeed we are very alarmed that the third local dengue fever case also occurred in the Central and Western District. Although it is not directly linked with the earlier two cases, all three cases belong to serotype 3 dengue fever. We are working under the assumption that there is mosquito population in the Central area already infected with dengue fever virus. So, we will step up mosquito control initiatives in the district in the following days. At the same time, we would like to make an appeal to Hong Kong citizens that we cannot assume that only Central district is affected by dengue fever. We would collaborate with all government departments concerned and all other District Councils to step up mosquito control measures in the other 17 districts.

Reporter: Is it because the mosquito control work is insufficient?

Secretary for Food and Health: We have explained that Hong Kong, nevertheless, is a place where the weather and humidity conditions are suitable for mosquito breeding. We cannot assume that we can totally eradicate mosquitoes in Hong Kong. We have to continue with our vigilance and surveillance as well as mosquito control efforts in the hope that we would not have a sustained local transmission of dengue fever as well as Zika virus.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, September 7, 2016

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