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Hong Kong - Environmental Emergencies

As of 2002 Dengue fever entered Hong Kong. Very few cases were reported, but usually once Dengue fever enters a country, it doesn't disappear so this situation should be monitered each year. Be sure to erradicate areas with stagnant water, such as empty flower pots, which are ideal mosquito breeding grounds.

In 2003 the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) turned up in Hong Kong.  At the time of writing (May, 2003) the Hong Kong city is battling this virus, and the outcome is unknown at this time.  It is very serious since the death rate is anywhere between 4-10%.  SARS is thought to be transmitted by droplets--through coughing, sneezing, or waste products. 

Current practice is to

  • Monitor your temperature daily.  If you have a temperature of 100 degrees F, or 40 C, and you have muscle aches and chills, or difficulty breathing, go see a doctor.  Wear a face mask to the doctor and tell him immediately you may have SARS as it is extremely contagious as the medical community is the hardest hit due to their exposure to the virus. 
  • If you suspect you have SARS, keep family members away, have them wear face masks, and if you are confirmed to have SARS, your flat should be thoroughly cleaned, all clothes recently worn washed, and family members should voluntarily confine themselves for 7-10 days to ensure they don't have it and spread it to the community.


  • Department of Health
    Tel: + 852 2833 0111
    Pre-recorded health education hotline
  • Department of Health hotline for general advice, during office hours
    Tel: + 852  2961 8968
    Hotline for general advice, during office hours

Updates found at

If possible, bring fire alarms with you.  You will not find fire alarms in Hong Kong, and many flats are not equipped with them. An alarm is located in the lobby of the building, but that wouldn't help you if the fire started in your own flat. 
As most flats are built of concrete, it is difficult for fire to spread. Still, should a fire occur in your building, DO NOT use the lift, but exit via the stairs. Stay low to avoid the smoke. 
Be sure to have a fire extinguisher handy. Evacuate the premises immediately, activate the fire alarm, and call 999 for the fire department.