Dengue controls in place ahead of the wet season

Local | Charlotte Luo 4 Feb 2019

Authorities are enhancing the surveillance of mosquitoes carrying dengue fever ahead of the rainy season, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee wrote on her blog.

Chan yesterday said the government has initiated preventative measures in advance after the local outbreak of dengue fever last year.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is improving dengue fever ovitraps and will run tests in August.

It plans to control and monitor mosquito population in real time by trapping them and using chemically infused water to prevent larva from hatching.

The Centre for Health Protection confirmed that the 29 cases of dengue fever last year was the highest recorded since 1994.

All the cases were linked to two separate areas - 19 people were infected at Lion Rock Park, Wong Tai Sin and 10 others contracted the disease at Cheung Chau.

Dengue fever is transmitted when the Aedes mosquito bites an infected person and then bites someone else.

Prior to last year, most patients infected were bitten outside Hong Kong, with only a handful infected locally.

Chan also wrote that FEHD will further increase the number of surveillance sites for dengue fever mosquitoes and rodents during the year.

She said the location of the new monitoring points will be decided based on the size of residential areas, previous locations that mosquitoes and rodents may be attracted to.

Meanwhile, the department will also use technology to improve the surveillance of mosquitoes and rodents, as well as enhance the effectiveness of coping strategies, prevention, and control.

According to the blog, the Housing Department and FEHD have been conducting a three-month pilot scheme on anti-rat operations in targeted areas.

The government is also researching the use of night vision or thermal detection cameras to monitor the activities of rats, and is expected to be tested in the first half of this year.

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