HK probes 30 imported malaria cases
The Centre for Health Protection on Thursday said it is investigating a fatal imported malaria case and urges the public to maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures.
The centre made the appeal as it has observed an upward trend in the number of imported malaria cases, all involving people coming from Africa.
From July 1 to August 4, the centre recorded a total of 30 imported malaria cases involving 30 male patients aged 25 to 57 arriving in Hong Kong from July 1 to August 1. Of these patients, 21 came from Guinea, Africa.
All patients underwent quarantine at designated quarantine hotels in accordance with the relevant entry requirement upon arrival. A 52-year-old patient passed away during quarantine and post-mortem results revealed that he carried the malaria parasite.
The remaining 29 men have been sent to public hospitals for treatment. Ten of them were discharged after treatment, while four and 15 are in serious and stable conditions.
The centre is conducting an epidemiological investigation and is following up on the cases' travel collaterals who have been put under medical surveillance.
Symptomatic patients will be sent to hospital, while blood tests would be offered to those who are asymptomatic. People who test positive would be sent to hospital for treatment.
Malaria is a communicable disease transmitted by an infected female Anopheline mosquito. Based on the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department's (FEHD) malaria vector surveillance information, the Department of Health opined that the risk of local transmission of malaria is extremely low.
Since imported malaria cases were found at quarantine hotels, authorities would follow-up on the mosquito infestation of relevant locations and step up anti-mosquito work on a needs basis.
The centre said as malaria is more common in some African and Southeast Asian regions, travellers should be alert to the malaria risk of their destinations before departing and take preventive measures.
Those who travel to malaria-endemic areas should use DEET-containing insect repellents during travel and for 14 days after returning to Hong Kong, it added.
For further information, the public may visit the centre's malaria page, Facebook page and YouTube channel, the latest travel health news, and the FEHD guidebook on control and prevention of mosquito breeding.