Updated at 6.48pm: The World Health Organisation's (WHO) top infectious diseases specialist David Heymann said China had reported a recent outbreak of encephalitis-like disease in Guangdong to the WHO. He said: 'The working hypothesis of the disease is Japanese Encephalitis', which is transmitted from person to person by insects. Japanese Encephalitis can be prevented by vaccines, he added. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Department of Health said they have already asked its Guangzhou counterpart to provide more information about the disease. A department spokeswoman said Japanese encephalitis was mainly spread by mosquitoes and urged people step up anti-mosquito measures. She said the last local case of Japanese encephalitis led to the death of a 15- year-old boy in 1996. Three imported cases of the disease were reported from 2001 to 2002. The three people were believed to contracted the disease when travelling in Asia and all recovered. Nora Tong writes that Apple Daily reported on Monday that 25 people in Meizhou, Guangdong have contracted encephalitis and one of them died on Sunday afternoon. The paper reported that the fatality rate of Japanese encephalitis can be as high as 30 per cent as the virus is capable of destroying brain cells within a short period of time. There is no instant cure to the disease at present, according to the newspaper, and patients who have contracted the encephalitis are treated according to the symptoms present. Approximately 30 per cent of the patients suffer from neuron-related side effects including epilepsy. Legislator Lo Wing-lok urged the Government to seek further information about the outbreak and step up its anti-mosquito campaign as the virus is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes, the newspaper reported.