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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 01/01/2016 *

 

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

Source of information and date of report

Australia

802

World Health Organization, 3 May 2016

Brazil

802,429

World Health Organization, 29 April 2016

Cambodia

663

World Health Organization, 3 May 2016

Guangdong

29

Health Department of Guangdong Province, 15 April 2016

India

3,962

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 30 April 2016

Japan

113#

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 13 May 2016

Lao PDR

260

World Health Organization, 3 May 2016

Mexico

22,805

World Health Organization, 29 April 2016

Philippines

18,790

World Health Organization, 3 May 2016

Singapore

7,652^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 12 May 2016

Sri Lanka

16,559

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 10 May 2016

Taiwan

372

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 12 May 2016

Thailand

16,830

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 11 May 2016

Vietnam

16,967

World Health Organization, 3 May 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.

 

Mainland: Zika virus infection

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health today (May 16) received notification of the first imported case of Zika virus Infection in Beijing from the National Health and Family Planning Commission, and again urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures and safe sex during travel. Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should not travel to affected areas.

The female patient aged 29 from Yantai, Shandong, travelled to Venezuela in April and developed fever and skin rash on May 11. She returned to Beijing on May 14, was hospitalised for management and was in stable condition.

To date, 18 imported cases of Zika Virus Infection have been notified in the Mainland.


(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 16 May 2016)


Mainland: Zika virus infection

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health today (May 15) received notification of an additional imported case of Zika virus Infection in the Mainland from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, and again urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures and safe sex during travel. Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should consider deferring their trip to affected areas.

The patient is a 37-year-old man who lives in Venezuela. He arrived in Mainland China through the international airport in Xiamen, Fujian on April 28. The patient developed sore throat and low grade fever on May 8, and skin rash and high fever on May 12. He subsequently sought medical consultation locally. He is now hospitalised for isolation and management and is in stable condition.

To date, 17 imported cases of Zika Virus Infection have been notified in the Mainland.


(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 15 May 2016)


Americas, Africa, Asia and other areas: Zika virus infection

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (May 13) closely monitoring the latest Zika virus update of the World Health Organization (WHO), and again urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures and safe sex during travel. Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should consider deferring their trip to affected areas.

According to the WHO, Grenada recently reported mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission. To date, 58 countries/areas have documented ongoing mosquito-borne transmission since 2007 while nine have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission probably by sexual contact (see attachment). Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

"We noted the latest risk assessment of the WHO that Zika virus continues to spread geographically to areas where competent vectors are present. Although a decline in cases has been reported in some countries/areas, high vigilance should be remained. At this stage, based on evidence available, an overall decline in the outbreak is yet to be concluded," a spokesman for the CHP said.

"WHO also recognised that athletes and visitors are seeking more information on the risks of Zika and ways to prevent infection while attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 (August 5 to September 18)," he added.

Apart from anti-mosquito measures and safer sex, the WHO encouraged athletes and visitors to avoid visiting impoverished and over-crowded areas in cities and towns with no piped water and poor sanitation (ideal breeding grounds of mosquitoes) where the risk of being bitten is higher, while pregnant women continue to be advised not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission, which includes Rio de Janeiro.


(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 13 May 2016)


Angola: Yellow Fever [update]

As of 9 May, a total of 2,267 suspected and confirmed cases of yellow fever including 292 deaths had been reported in Angola. Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and the Mainland had reported cases of yellow fever imported from Angola.


(Source: ProMED-mail 12 May 2016)


Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health today (May 11) received notification of eight additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) with onset of symptoms between March 23 and April 21, from the National Health and Family Planning Commission, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel. They comprise:


1. A man aged 61 in Wuxi, Jiangsu, with exposure to a poultry market who died on April 19;
2. A man aged 69 in Wuxi, Jiangsu, with exposure to a poultry market who died on April 14;
3. A man aged 36 in Changzhou, Jiangsu, with exposure to poultry and in serious condition;
4. A woman aged 27 in Nantong, Jiangsu, with exposure to a poultry market and in serious condition;
5. A female farmer aged 67 in Nantong, Jiangsu, with exposure to poultry who died on April 14;
6. A woman aged 49 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, with exposure to a poultry market and in serious condition;
7. A man aged 52 in Wuxi, Jiangsu, with exposure to a wet market and in serious condition; and
8. A male farmer aged 58 in Yantai, Shandong, with exposure to a poultry market and poultry and in serious condition.


From 2013 to date, 747 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.
(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 11 May 2016)

 

Last revision date: 16 May 2016