4th August 2022 – (Hong Kong) According to sources, at least 30 people returning to Hong Kong from Africa have been diagnosed with malaria and are being sent to hospital consecutively. Some patients need to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
A mainland company responsible for handling projects in Africa had earlier dispatched 300 to 400 people to work in Africa. After the completion of the project, the workers returned to the Mainland in batches via Hong Kong. Some workers were found to be infected with malaria during quarantine at the Silka Seaview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei and they have been sent to the nearby Kwong Wah Hospital for treatment. Some of the patients required treatment at ICU. It is reported that Hong Kong currently does not have enough medicines to treat malaria. Hospital Authority has yet to respond to the incident.
According to information provided by Centre for Health Protection, malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a group of malaria parasites, namely Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi. It is commonly found in many parts of tropical and sub-tropical areas where the climate is warm, like Africa, South-East Asia and South America.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and weakness, cough, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Complications include anaemia, generalised convulsion, circulatory collapse, organ failure such as kidney failure, coma and death if the disease is not treated promptly.
Malaria is a vector-borne communicable disease transmitted by an infected female Anopheline mosquito. When the mosquito bites a malaria patient, the mosquito becomes infected and will pass on the disease when it bites another person. Malaria is not transmitted from person to person. However, malaria can be transmitted through contaminated blood or blood product transfusion, organ transplant, or shared needles or syringes. Malaria may also be transmitted from a mother to her foetus/newborn baby before or during delivery.
The incubation period varies with different species of Plasmodium. This usually ranges from 7 – 30 days but may be up to months or even longer after the bite of an infected Anopheline mosquito.