Letter to Doctors on
Dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever
11 September 2001
You are probably aware of reports of increased incidence of dengue fever (DF) in the Southeast Asian countries in 2001 and the recent incident of local DF announced by the Macao Government. The threat of local transmission of dengue fever is quite real. I am writing to seek your kind support in the control of dengue fever in Hong Kong.
At present, the most effective strategy to control DF is to enhance disease surveillance and control the mosquito vectors. In this regard, medical practitioners are urged to report DF cases, whether suspected or confirmed, to the respective Regional Office of the Department of Health (DH). The telephone and fax number of the Regional Offices are listed below :
|Regional Office||Fax No.||Tel. No.|
|Hong Kong||2572 7582||2961 8791|
|Kowloon||2375 8451||2199 9100 E149|
|New Territories East||2603 0523||2684 5142|
|New Territories West||2439 9622||2615 8571|
During weekends, public holidays or after office hours, urgent notification can be made to the duty Medical Control Officer of the DH (Tel. No. : 7116 3300 call 9179).
Laboratory confirmation of dengue virus infection is available in the Government Virus Unit (GVU) of DH. Should laboratory confirmation for dengue infection for clinically indicated patients (especially those who had history of travel to dengue endemic areas) be required, please collect 4ml clotted blood from the patient during the acute phase of the illness and send the specimen to GVU, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. A second blood specimen taken 7-10 days later may be required to confirm the diagnosis. You can also contact the GVU at telephone number 2855 4119 if you have any enquiries.
Since the outcome of patients suffering from dengue haemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS) can be markedly improved with early diagnosis and treatment, all patients suspected to be suffering from DHF/DSS should be referred to hospitals for appropriate management.
Your should also educate your clients to eliminate mosquito breeding places in their domestic environment and vicinity as a way to support the territory-wide anti-mosquito campaign launched from 31 August to 3 November 2001 by the Government.
Doctors should also be on the alert for travel-related illnesses, including DF when seeing patients coming back from endemic areas. Travellers intended to visit these areas should be advised to take precautionary measures to prevent mosquito bite. These include :
wearing long sleeved clothes and trousers,
using insect repellents over exposed parts of the body when outdoors, and
using mosquito screens or nets when the room is not air-conditioned.
An information sheet on DF/DHF/DSS is enclosed for your reference.
(Dr. L.Y. Tse)
for Director of Health