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Rat rage over hepatitis E

Local | Jane Cheung May 16, 2019
<p>Pest-control experts from the mainland should be deployed by the government to help exterminate rodents in Hong Kong, lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun said.</p><p>Leung&#39;s comments come after five people, including one who has died, were diagnosed with a strain of hepatitis E that is commonly found in rats.</p><p>The Business and Professional Alliance lawmaker said her party surveyed 1,200 people, and found that a third of them are not satisfied with the government&#39;s rodent-control measures.</p><p>She suggested the government recruit veteran rat-catchers instead of listening to experts who only talk about theories.</p><p>The government meanwhile will step up cleanliness in Tuen Mun, Kowloon City and Southern districts as three people who contracted the virus were living in these areas.</p><p>The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has identified several black spots near Yau Oi Estate in Tuen Mun, where the man who died resided. Officers visited Tuen Mun with district councilors yesterday and found that a temporary storeroom the Leisure and Cultural Services Department set up at Tuen Mun Park and ditches at the Yau Oi Estate wet market are likely to become shelters for rodents.</p><p>Tam Chun-yin, a Tuen Mun district councilor and Labour Party member, said the estate has suffered from a rodent infestation over the past two years and he has received many complaints from residents.</p><p>&quot;The hygiene and sanitary work in the estate is shared among five different stakeholders. How do you expect them to coordinate the work?&quot;</p><p>&quot;I think one of the government departments should take charge of coordinating the work,&quot; he said.</p><p>The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong protested at the central government offices yesterday to call for stringent control.</p><p>Its lawmaker, Ann Chiang Lai-wan, called for action to prevent hepatitis E from spreading in the community.</p><p>Hepatitis E is mainly transmitted by consumption of food or water contaminated by infected animals.</p>


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