Poor hygiene practices persist just a year after the Sars crisis was officially declared over and amid new fears of dengue fever, a survey has found. These include the infrequent use of mosquito repellants and not using serving utensils when sharing meals with others. Some respondents to the Centre for Health Protection study said they found such measures were not necessary or much too troublesome. However, Regina Ching Cheuk-tuen, head of the centre's programme management and professional development branch, said there had been an overall improvement in knowledge of dengue fever and Sars and of preventive measures against these diseases. On dengue fever, the survey found that 43 per cent of those questioned were using mosquito repellant, but only 18 per cent had installed mosquito nets. Regarding Sars, only 46 per cent use serving utensils when sharing food with other people and only 21 per cent use them for family meals. Ninety per cent of those interviewed had a 'fair to good knowledge' about the two diseases and 97 per cent were aware of preventive measures. 'Because of the hot season, we felt that we had to tell people what we found to boost efforts to keep good hygiene,' Dr Ching said.