Environment & Health Hong Kong

Close Lion Rock Park temporarily to combat mosquitoes spreading dengue fever, experts suggest

The head of the Centre for Health Protection has suggested that Lion Rock Park should be closed temporarily to stop the spread of dengue fever.

Seven local cases of dengue fever were confirmed between Tuesday and Thursday. Four of the seven victims had been to the park in Wong Tai Sin recently, and one worked in the park.

The government decided to close the park for a month on Friday after four more cases emerged, all of whom had also been to the park.

Lion Rock Park

Lion Rock Park. Photo: Citizen News.

Dr Wong Ka-hing, controller of the centre under the Department of Health, said on a Commercial Radio programme that – since the mosquitoes that transmit the disease have a flying range of 100 metres – the park was likely the main source of infection. The centre suggested the park should be closed.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, the centre’s consultant doctor for communicable disease, agreed with Wong.

“For example, the Yoyogi Park in Tokyo was closed for a long time when dengue fever was spreading,” she told an RTHK programme. “From a public hygiene viewpoint, we want to decrease the opportunity for people to be exposed [to the mosquitoes].”

She said the suggestion will be raised at an inter-departmental meeting on the matter on Friday afternoon.

Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus

Aedes albopictus, commonly known as Asian tiger mosquito. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/James Gathany/CDC .

Lee Ming-wai, pest control officer of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, said on the RTHK programme that the FEHD will step up anti-mosquito measures at locations – such as the park and the Wong Tai Sin area – where the infected people have been during and after the incubation period.

The FEHD will also boost city-wide anti-mosquito measures, such as removing stagnant water.

Close Lion Rock Park temporarily to combat mosquitoes spreading dengue fever, experts suggest