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HK Public Stay Alert to Dengue Fever

Putting down the mosquito-curtain before going to bed and burning mosquito-censer from seven o'clock in the evening until four o'clock in the morning every day. These are the methods used by most Hong Kong people in Tai Wai, a disastrous area of mosquito threat, to drive away mosquitoes.


Monthly indices recording the prevalence of the aedes albopictus mosquito, which may carry the disease of dengue fever, give rise to concerns. According to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Government on Tuesday, four areas in Hong Kong hit the 50 percent mark and one of them, Tai Wai, was more than 60 percent.


To avoid contracting dengue fever, the public are doing their best to prevent mosquitoes. In Tai Wai, most parents sprayed anti-mosquito sprayer all over the body of their children before going out and some even prohibited their children from playing on the street.


Carmel Alison Lam Primary School, located in the mosquito threatening district, has spent about 10,000 HK dollars to feature an equipment for capturing mosquitoes.


The principal of the primary school said that there was a construction site with accumulated water near the school which increased the chances of breeding mosquitoes, therefore, they decided to buy the equipment.


Besides, hotels and eateries also paid high attention to the mosquito threat. An open-air eatery in Tai Wai has gotten mosquito-censer under every table to avoid diners from being bit by mosquitoes.


The Regal Riverside Hotel in Shatin, which is near Tai Wai, has planned to foster the pest control measures once they realized that Shatin is also a threatening area.


Connie Ng from the public relations of the hotel said that the measures to be taken include clearing away accumulated water and spraying floral bushes with insecticide.


Pang Shau-er, public relations manager of Park'n Shop said thatthe anti-mosquito items they offered would be enough to meet customer 's needs and they would increase the number of stocks if necessary.


According to Ho Yuk-yin, consultant doctor of the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the drastic surge of the indices was partly due to heavy and episodic rainfall in March and April. He predicted that the indices might rise further in coming months.


"Mosquito infestation can be effectively prevented through elimination of mosquito breeding places and the maintenance of good environmental hygiene," said Ho.


Ho said the department would step up inspections and enforcement actions throughout the year.


Ho also urged the public to ensure that water does not accumulate in open areas such as rooftops, courtyards and balconies after rain, and that ditches are properly maintained.


"We are also soliciting community support in the fight against mosquito breeding," Ho said.


(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2004)



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