Hong Kong man working at West Kowloon rail terminus construction site becomes first to locally contract dengue fever this year

Members of the public with symptoms and who have been near site in question or patient’s home in Prince Edward urged to contact Centre for Health Protection

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 9:49am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 9:49am

A 45-year-old man who worked at the construction site of the express rail link’s West Kowloon terminus has become the first person in the city this year to locally contract dengue fever.

The patient’s condition is stable, and the Centre for Health Protection is appealing for people who have developed symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease and have been in the vicinity of the construction site near Austin MTR station or Cedar Street in Prince Edward, where the man lives, to approach them.

The patient developed a high fever, chills, a headache and dizziness from July 29. He was sent to the emergency unit at Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei and admitted, before he started to develop skin rash on his legs.

He was discharged from the hospital on Monday after the symptoms subsided. His blood sample tested positive for dengue virus.

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The patient had no travel history in the incubation period. He recalled being frequently bitten by mosquitoes at his workplace and also being bitten near home.

His home contacts remain asymptomatic. They have been put under medical surveillance. Tracing of his workplace contacts is ongoing.

The centre said people who had symptoms should call its hotline at 2125 1133 during office hours for laboratory investigation or referral as appropriate.

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“We have informed the Guangdong and Macau health authorities of the case and will issue letters to local doctors and hospitals to alert them to the latest situation,” a spokesman added.

As of August 3, 59 imported cases have been recorded this year, including 18 from Thailand, 10 from Sri Lanka and seven from the Philippines.

Dengue fever is transmitted to humans through bites from infective female Aedes mosquitoes – a common species that can also spread Zika. Severe dengue fever is potentially fatal. Without proper treatment, the fatality rate of severe dengue can exceed 20 per cent.