Third case of Japanese encephalitis reported this year in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection has confirmed a 50-year-old homeless man in Sham Shui Po has contracted Japanese encephalitis, the third case reported this year.

The man was picked up by the Police on June 11 in a park in Lei Cheng Uk, Sham Shui Po, suffering from confusion. They sent him to Caritas Medical Centre where he was found to have high fever and stiff neck on admission.

The man is now in serious condition, and serology tests on blood samples yielded positives results for Japanese encephalitis.

The centre is trying to ascertain the patient's local movements outside the district where he was found, to find out where he likely contracted the disease.

The Centre and Food & Environmental Hygiene Department have formed a team to inspect the area where the patient was found, conduct anti-mosquito measures, and distribute publicity materials on disease prevention. A health talk for residents will be organised and blood tests will be offered.

Anti-mosquito work will be stepped up around the area where the patient stayed, and larvicides have been applied to control mosquito breeding.

A hotline, 2575 1848, has been set up for residents to get health advice and appropriate follow-up measures for people with symptoms. It operates from 4pm until 9pm today, and will be open tomorrow from 9am to 5pm, and during office hours on weekdays.

Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by Culicine mosquitoes living mainly in rural areas. The mosquitoes breed in water-logged fields and marshes. The public should take measures to prevent mosquito breeding by removing stagnant water.

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