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Zika virus

Workers conduct mosquito control measures in Yuen Long village where Zika patient lives

56-year-old man developed rashes and fever after overseas trip in city’s second imported Zika case

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 9:11pm

Mosquito control measures were conducted in a Yuen Long village on Wednesday morning after the city confirmed its second imported Zika case on Tuesday.

The operation, involving about 35 workers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, started at about 10am in Yan Shau Wai in San Tin, where the 56-year-old male patient reportedly lives.

The patient developed rashes and fever symptoms after returning from a trip to the Caribbean, including St Maarten and Anguilla, last week.

Hong Kong confirms 56-year-old man as city’s second imported Zika case

Workers in full white protective clothing, masks and eye shields sprayed mosquito repellent on bushes and in drains, while other workers cleared away some of the vegetation in the area.

An officer said the work was expected to take several days as they had to spray repellent in the area with 500 metres of the patient’s home.

Village representative Man Kwok-tong posted a note on the village noticeboard on Wednesday morning reminding villagers to stay alert and take preventive measures against mosquitoes.

“Hygiene in our village is alright, though I hope the government can be more active in clearing the bushes,” Man said, adding that workers from the department did regularly come to spray mosquito repellent.

“I doubt we can eradicate [mosquitoes] completely, but we can always do better,” he said.

Zika can survive for hours on hard, non-porous surfaces

Some villagers were not very concerned about the situation.

“Of course I won’t say I’m not worried, but sometimes you just can’t avoid it at all,” Ms Ng, who has lived in the village for more than 20 years, said.

She has insect screens installed at home, but said she would not use repellent as she did not like the product.

“I would just say you are unlucky if you are picked by the infected one among thousands of mosquitoes,” she said.

Mickey Man, who has lived in the village since he was born here in 1939, said he would use repellent, but total prevention was difficult.

“At night the mosquitoes are more active and cluster together like a ball above your head,” Man said, describing the village in the summer.

He said the situation had improved a lot in recent years, but there would always be a few mosquitoes around in rural areas.