It looks like containing the dengue fever outbreak will not be easy even after the government launched an “all-out anti-mosquito operation” and closed Lion Rock Park which was suspected to be the source of the infection.
The Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) confirmed another person has contracted the acute mosquito-borne disease, bringing the total number of local dengue fever cases to 16 so far this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
According to CHP, the latest patient, a 52-year-old man with an underlying illness, has developed fever, headache, retro-orbital pain, muscle pain and skin rashes since Wednesday last week and is currently in stable condition.
The patient, from Tsan Tuen Road in Cheung Chau, recalled having been bitten by mosquitoes while walking on Fa Peng Road on the island. During the incubation period, he had traveled to Dongguan in Guangdong province for a day trip. He had not been Lion Rock Park.
His home contacts have been put under medical surveillance, although they remain asymptomatic.
Dr. Wong Ka-hing, the CHP controller, said his blood sample tested positive for the dengue virus serotype 3, in contrast to serotype 1 found in the 15 other cases.
The difference indicates there is more than one source of infection, Wong said.
A spokesman for the CHP said the center is working closely with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) to assess the infection and prevent its further spread. Together with the FEHD, it will schedule a seminar on dengue fever for Cheung Chau residents.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has temporarily closed the Lion Rock Park in Wong Tai Sin District for a month, starting from 7 p.m. on Friday, for thorough cleaning and mosquito control operations.
The re-opening will be subject to further monitoring and review of the situation by relevant departments, the LCSD said.
On Friday night, the CHP announced four more cases, followed by another four on Saturday. It reported four cases on Tuesday and three on Thursday.
Most of the 15 patients were found to have been to or worked at Lion Rock Park, with some admitting having been bitten by mosquitoes there.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee told a special meeting of the government’s inter-departmental Pest Control Steering Committee on Friday that the cooperation of all government departments and the participation of all members of the public are crucial for mosquito control.
She said her bureau has issued letters to the Environmental Hygiene Committees of the 18 District Councils, urging them to proactively take part in mosquito control and organize various anti-mosquito operations through the participation of local organizations and mobilization of their building management networks.
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