Dengue spread warning after two people hit

Top News | Riley Chan 11 Aug 2017

A microbiologist warned there could be more dengue fever cases in the near future after two residents of the Boundary Street-Prince Edward area were stricken with the mosquito-carried disease.

The Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection revealed yesterday that the second victim was a 25-year-old woman who had no previous health problems. She lives on Boundary Street close to the now-recovered first sufferer.

The woman had been in Vietnam, a dengue-endemic area, from July 15 to 23.

After returning to Hong Kong she developed fever, headache, muscle pain, retro-orbital pain and skin rash on August 2 and was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital six days later. A blood test then came up positive for dengue virus NS1 antigen.

But the woman no longer has a fever and has been in stable condition.

Officers from the center have been investigating in the area and handed out out questionnaires to people living near the woman. Blood tests will be arranged for anyone suspected of catching the virus.

The woman's case was the second one in the area in less than three days. The first known sufferer was a 45-year- old worker at the Express Rail Link construction site in West Kowloon.

He tested positive on August 7, though he had been in good health prior to the infection and had not traveled outside Hong Kong recently. He was discharged from hospital on Monday.

The center is now calling for people who believe they have dengue symptoms to call its hotline (2125-1133).

University of Hong Kong bacteriologist Ho Pak-leung said on radio that since the woman had been to Vietnam it was hard to say whether the two cases were connected. But more cases could been seen this month or in September, Ho added.

No locally registered dengue vaccine is available in Hong Kong, though one, Dengvaxia, has been approved by the World Health Organization and used in the Philippines.

So authorities say the best preventive measure is to eliminate breeding sites of mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, KMB has installed 400 mosquito-control devices at 100 sites across the SAR, including bus stations and interchanges.

riley.chan@singtaonewscorp.com



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