Battle against dengue being won

Local | Jane Cheung 12 Sep 2018

Hong Kong's dengue fever outbreak is under control, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said yesterday.

But authorities have yet to decide when to reopen Lion Rock Park, a main seat of the trouble.

There had not been any new dengue fever cases for seven days, she said, and infection numbers have been declining for several weeks.

"All the cases came from Wong Tai Sin district and Cheung Chau, and I think it's under control," she said. "But we won't lower our guard."

The last diagnosed case of the mosquito-carried disease was on September 4, which took the total since mid-August to 29.

Nineteen cases were attributed to mosquitoes at Lion Rock Park and the other 10 to Cheung Chau.

With so many cases attributed to Lion Rock Park, officials decided to close it for 30 days on August 17.

Chan said her team has been monitoring the situation at the park, adding that no additional infections had occurred in the Wong Tai Sin district since the closure.

She also said an evaluation on the progress and effectiveness of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's pest control work near the park is needed. In addition, Ovitrap Index figures in the district must be scrutinized. An ovitrap is a device where mosquitoes lay eggs. And when larvae hatch the mosquitoes are trapped and can be counted and checked.

"We'll keep an eye on it and evaluate the risk before deciding when to reopen the park," Chan said. "If no new cases are found and we see the benefits from the department's pest control work, we'll talk with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department about a reopening date."

The FEHD will also post on its website today the first Ovitrap Index for Aedine mosquitoes in 57 areas of the SAR.

It will be the first time the index has gone online since officials announced last month that index data will be released three times a month to help keep people informed about the mosquito menace.

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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