The Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said there is an outbreak of dengue fever in the city after three more cases were confirmed on Thursday, adding that evidence suggests the source of infection could be the Lion Rock Park in Wong Tai Sin, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
“There is an outbreak at the moment because it’s very uncommon to see local cases and now we have seven local cases since Tuesday, so it’s very, very unusual,” Dr. Wong Ka-hing, CHP controller, told a press conference.
The question now is whether Hong Kong is running the risk of an extensive outbreak, Wong said.
The CHP will study with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department the feasibility of closing the park temporarily, said Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, a CHP consultant on community medicine (communicable disease) in an RTHK radio program on Friday.
The three new cases, following four that were reported on Tuesday, involve a 31-year-old man living on Wing Yiu Street in To Kwa Wan, a 61-year-old woman from Tak Long Estate in Kai Tak, and a 39-year-old woman from Portland Street in Yau Ma Tei, the CHP said.
Home companions of the three new patients have been put under medical surveillance, although they have remained asymptomatic.
Wong said although the three patients, who are all in stable condition, live in different places, the 61-year-old woman works at Lion Rock Park, while the other two had visited the park, and so had two of the four patients confirmed previously.
As such, the park could be the source of infection, he said.
Wong urged people to refrain from going to the park, although mosquito control work is being conducted there.
Dengue fever is an acute mosquito-borne infection caused by the dengue virus. It is clinically characterized by high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and rashes.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said a cross-departmental meeting was scheduled for Friday to discuss plans to fight the disease, according to The Standard.
Chan warned that more dengue fever cases could emerge. She also said measures were being taken to prevent mosquitoes from proliferating in parks, private estates, construction sites and hillsides.
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