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Take precautions against dengue fever when travelling abroad

Dengue fever is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. This includes various popular tourist destinations for Hong Kong people including the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Travellers planning to travel in these areas should take precautions against the disease.

Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2015 *

 

Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2015

Source of information and date of report

Australia

1,682

World Health Organization, 26 January 2016

Brazil

1,649,008

World Health Organization, 15 January 2016

Cambodia

15,412

World Health Organization, 26 January 2016

Guangdong

1,312

Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, 9 October 2015

Mexico

219,593

World Health Organization, 15 January 2016

Philippines

169,435

World Health Organization, 26 January 2016

Sri Lanka

29,777

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 14 January 2016

Vietnam

97,476

World Health Organization, 26 January 2016


Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2016 *

 

Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2016

Source of information and date of report

India

1,055

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 28 January 2016

Japan

20#

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 2 February 2016

Lao PDR

43

World Health Organization, 26 January 2016

Singapore

2,783^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 4 February 2016

Taiwan

359

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 4 February 2016

Thailand

5,129

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 2 February 2016

Remark:
* Dengue reporting systems vary by country.
^ Cumulative cases since 3 January 2016
# Cumulative cases since 4 January 2016.

Travellers should stay vigilant against dengue fever and adopt the following personal preventive measures against mosquito bite:

* Always wear loose, light-coloured long-sleeved tops and trousers;
* Stay in air-conditioned residence or places with mosquito screens;
* If mosquito screen or air-conditioning is absent, aerosol insecticide and bed nets are advised;
* Use insect repellents containing DEET on exposed skin and clothing;
* Use insect repellents containing DEET apart from applying sunscreen while staying in beaches;
* Re-apply insect repellents according to instructions during the trip;
* Carry a portable bed nets and apply permethrin on it as well as to clothes if travelling to rural areas where dengue fever is prevalent.

Travellers returning from areas where dengue fever is prevalent should seek medical advice as soon as possible if they feel unwell and provide travel details to their doctors.

 

Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific: Latest epidemiological update on Zika virus by the World Health Organization

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (February 6) closely monitoring the latest epidemiological update on Zika virusby the World Health Organization (WHO), and again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks of the places of visit.

Globally, Zika Virus Infection has been emerging and outbreaks have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Ongoing transmission of Zika has expanded rapidly in the Americas since 2015.

According to the latest Zika situation report by the WHO, a total of 33 countries have reported autochthonous circulation of Zika virus. These countries include Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, the Republic of Cape Verde, Colombia, Curacao, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Maldives, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint-Martin, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Tonga, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

In addition, there is also indirect evidence of local transmission in six additional countries. They are Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Locally, no human cases have been reported to the CHP to date. Yet, as long as there is international travel, there is always risk of introduction of Zika virus to Hong Kong. As asymptomatic infection is very common and the potential vector, Aedes albopictus, is present locally, there is also risk of local spread in case Zika is introduced to Hong Kong.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 6 February 2016)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health is closely monitoring five additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks of the places of visit.

According to the WHO, the patients are five men aged between 21 and 85. Two of them had frequent contact with camels and consumption of raw camel milk, while another one had a history of contact with his relatives who had camel contact. These three patients are now hospitalised for treatment in stable condition. The remaining two patients had contact with MERS Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)-positive camels and were identified through contact tracing. Both remained asymptomatic and are currently in home isolation.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 3 February 2016)

 

Tanzania: Cholera

Cholera broke out in Zanzibar Islands of Tanzania since September 2015. There were 1,300 cases so far.

(Source: ProMED-mail 2 February 2016)

 

Kenya: Cholera

A total of 114 cholera cases have been hospitalised in Tharaka Nithi County of Kenya.

(Source: ProMED-mail 2 February 2016)

 

Hawaii: Dengue fever [Update]

Hawaii health authority said that the number of locally acquired dengue fever cases on the big island of Hawaii has risen to a total of 244.

(Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy 2 February 2016)

 

 

Last revision date: 6 February 2016