Published: Tuesday 15 September 1998

Shopping for solutions Hong Kong is preparing to tackle the mosquito menace following a sharp rise in the number of dengue cases. Five cases were notified in 1996 and 10 in 1997, but by the end of July this year, eight had already been identified.

In an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading further in the country, an annual campaign against the insects is starting three months early.

According to a pest control officer, all the dengue fever cases had been "imported", with East Asia being the main source. A majority of the cases detected this year had been imported from Indonesia. "Hong Kong is likely to face a mosquito menace if the environment is not kept clean.

East Asia is already being infested by the pest and I would not rule out the possibility of passengers bringing mosquitoes to Hong Kong," according to the official. Dengue fever can lead to severe headache and nausea and can progress to the potentially fatal dengue haemorrhagic fever.

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