A disease prevention campaign has been launched by the Government, focusing on how to deal with rodents. This year, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department says there have been six cases of rodent-transmitted diseases, two of hantaviral disease and four of urban typhus, none fatal. Hantaviral disease, a cardiopulmonary illness, can cause damage to the kidneys and even loss of kidney function. The department's consultant, Dr Ho Yuk-yin, said symptoms of the disease included fever, headache and shivering. People who suspect they may be infected should seek immediate medical attention. The campaign, which is a follow-up to one staged earlier, will be carried out in two phases: the first between January and February and the second in June. 'Although the rodent problem is not very serious in Hong Kong, we need to arouse public awareness to ensure safety,' a department spokeswoman said. 'As places with ample food sources are more prone to rodent infestation, this year we are targeting food premises and neighbouring areas, particularly back lanes.' People have been advised to stay on the alert for signs of infestation such as rat droppings, gnawing marks, rat holes and footmarks. The department will improve its disinfection operations in each district and visit licensed food premises to educate operators.