Hong Kong raises dengue alert for travelers to popular spots

May 21, 2015 15:24
Taiwanese health inspectors put up signs to warn the public against dengue. The disease is spread by mosquitoes. Photos: chinatimes.com

Hong Kong health authorities are warning about dengue fever in popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.

These include Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, Sky Post reported Thursday, citing the Center for Health Protection (CHP).

Malaysia has had the highest reported cases this year with 38,517, followed by the Philippines with 19,946 and Thailand with 11,699.

Vietnam recorded 9,727 infections, Singapore 3,055 and Japan 80, the report said.

Taiwan reported two deaths from 190 cases, mostly in Kaoshiung. The rest were in Taipei, New Taipei and Taichung.

Health officials on the island raised a public alert after five cases were reported in the week to May 18 in Nanzih district.

Meanwhile, Guandong province said it had 26 cases and Macau had one.

In Hong Kong, dengue infections have risen to 33 this year, up 43 percent from the same period last year.

CHP urged the public to maintain environmental hygiene and adopt protective measures when traveling.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains and skin rash that is similar to measles.

In rare cases, the infection develops into hemorrhagic fever which can cause death.

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