Scarlet fever outbreak in Hong Kong

June 22nd, 2011 - 8:16 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Hong Kong, June 22 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Health officials in Hong Kong are investigating the possible outbreak of scarlet fever. The city’s officials have confirmed that at least one child has died from the disease and nearly 500 new cases have been recorded in the city this year alone. The fever is caused by a bacteria and it is transmitted through direct contact and respiratory droplets from people who are suffering from the disease.

The first scarlet fever death in the city this year was recorded last month when a seven-year-old girl died. The officials are investigating the death of a five-year-old boy to determine whether it was caused by the fever.

The controller of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection, Thomas Tsang, is worried about the scale of the spread of the disease. During an interview, Tsang said that, “The situation is rather serious at the moment. We are facing an epidemic because the bacteria that is causing scarlet fever is widely circulating in this region — not only in Hong Kong but in mainland China and Macau.”

The disease is also spreading in mainland China. So far about 9,000 new cases have been recorded in the country since the beginning of the year. The figure is about twice the average annual infections in the country.

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