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HK Squashes Skeeters

Hong Kong's monthly Ovitrap Index, which reflects the prevalence of dengue-fever-carrying Aedine mosquitoes, dropped from a record high of 31.6 percent in May to 2.4 percent in November, Hong Kong's Anti-mosquito Steering Committee announced on Wednesday.

The committee reviewed the government's anti-mosquito efforts in 2004 and formulated measures for the next rainy season in an ongoing effort to control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

The committee said that as of Wednesday, 29 imported dengue fever and five Japanese encephalitis cases had been reported in Hong Kong this year. In 2003, there were 49 cases of dengue fever and one of Japanese encephalitis.

The committee decided to adopt a multi-pronged cleansing operation against mosquitoes, which thrive in Hong Kong's warm, humid climate.

Since October, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has been conducting a special year-long survey of disease-carrying mosquitoes to assess their distribution.

Anti-mosquito operations around hoggeries and at sites where migratory birds gather will be stepped up, particularly during the rainy season. Brushy and overgrown areas will be cleared or cut back.

Community education will be enhanced on mosquito control and disease prevention. Pig farmers and farm workers will be informed about encephalitis prevention through a publicity campaign and seminars.

The government is exploring the possibility of an experimental encephalitis vaccination program for pigs, which is to be developed in consultation with farmers.

(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2004)

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Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
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