Two fully vaccinated individuals in separate hotel rooms in Hong Kong were recently infected with the rarely seen Type-two Omicron variant of the Dengue virus, according to the Hong Kong government.
The Dengue virus has become increasingly active and spreading in recent years in parts of Asia and South America. The Type-two (1) Omicron variant of the virus has not been associated with a high amount of mortality, but can cause a serious complication called sudden onset of joint pain, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and retinal swelling (damage to the retina).
In March 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Type-two (1) Omicron variants in a global health emergency because of their rapid spread, high rate of morbidity and mortality and need for rapid and widespread vector control activities.
In a communiqué to Hong Kong media on July 4, an official at the Health Department said that “out of every 10 [cases] that had been reported, seven were complete cases with one case confirmed to be a Type-two (1) and four new cases.”
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The communiqué said the Department of Health believes “…that the case results are linked to another individual who was a Type-1 (1) Omicron patient and another patient who was in the same hotel as this Type-2 (1) Omicron patient.”
The communiqué said the government is working with the property manager of the hotel, Parkview Hotel, in order to determine whether the bug got into the hotel through external or internal travel.
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