Hong Kong Confirmed Imported Case Of Chikungunya Fever

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health urged members of the public to be on guard against mosquito-borne diseases when travelling overseas following confirmation of an imported case of Chikungunya fever.

The patient, a 44-year-old man, arrived in Hong Kong on December 29 and was admitted to the Princess Margaret Hospital on the same day. He had onset of fever and mild sore throat on December 26 while he was in Malaysia. He has recovered and was discharged on December 30.

Laboratory test results available today confirmed that he was infected by the Chikungunya virus. His seven travel companions did not have any symptoms.

A CHP spokesman said there were two imported cases of Chikungunya fever confirmed in 2008.

He said epidemics have occurred in Africa, Asia and Indian Ocean Islands.

"The Chikungunya virus is transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes to humans. The disease is characterised by fever, headache, and joint pain of the wrist, knee, ankle, and small joints.


"Some patients may develop a rash affecting the trunk and limbs. The illness is usually self-limiting (will go away without treatment) and lasts for three to 10 days, although the joint pain may last for weeks to months. The incubation period is one to 12 days," he said.

There is no vaccine for Chikungunya fever. The public is reminded to stay alert to mosquito-borne diseases. Travellers should adopt the following measures to avoid mosquito bites when travelling overseas:

* Avoid visiting mosquito-infested areas.

* Avoid visiting forests or areas with monkeys;

* Wear long-sleeved clothes and long trousers light in colour for protection against mosquitoes;

* Use insect repellent on exposed parts of the body.

* Use mosquito screens or nets when the room is not air-conditioned.

* Travellers returning from countries where Chikungunya fever is endemic and suffering from symptoms of the disease should seek prompt medical advice.