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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

532

World Health Organization, 5 April 2016

Brazil

495,266

World Health Organization, 1 April 2016

Cambodia

663

World Health Organization, 5 April 2016

Guangdong

22

Health Department of Guangdong Province, 15 March 2016

India

2,929

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 31 March 2016

Japan

88#

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 12 April 2016

Lao PDR

237

World Health Organization, 5 April 2016

Mexico

18,561

World Health Organization, 1 April 2016

Philippines

18,790

World Health Organization, 5 April 2016

Singapore

6,783^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 14 April 2016

Sri Lanka

14,204

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 12 April 2016

Taiwan

371

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 14 April 2016

Thailand

14,825

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 12 April 2016

Vietnam

13,086

World Health Organization, 5 April 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: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (April 18) closely monitoring two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in the Mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

According to the Health and Family Planning Commission of Jiangxi Province, the female patient aged 43 and her son aged 23 live in Taihe, Ji'an, and work in Jinjiang, Fujian. They have been hospitalised in Nanchang in stable condition.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 18 April 2016)

 

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

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 15) closely monitoring the latest Zika virus update of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the latest scientific evidence on the disease. Travel health advice has been revised accordingly.

According to the WHO, Belize and Saint Lucia recently reported mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission. To date, 64 countries/areas have documented Zika virus transmission since 2007 and are detailed in the attachment. Based on a growing body of research, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and other central nervous system foetal malformations.

Apart from GBS, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (a disease of the central nervous system) was recently found to be one of the neurologic manifestations possibly resulted from Zika virus.

"We noted the latest report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States which identified a case of sexual transmission of Zika virus between a man with recent travel to an area of active Zika virus transmission and his non-travelling male partner. We will continue to maintain close liaison with the WHO as well as overseas, neighbouring and Mainland health authorities to closely monitor the latest scientific evidence, and revise the local response if necessary," a spokesman for the CHP said.

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

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 15) closely monitoring a total of 16 additional cases of  Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between March 18 and 31, including six fatal cases. The CHP again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks in the places they visit.

According to the WHO, the patients are 12 men and four women aged between 21 and 78, with 12 having underlying illnesses. Among them, four had history of frequent contact with dromedaries and consumption of their raw milk, two had contact with previously confirmed cases and four visited or stayed in a hospital where a MERS outbreak occurred. The source of infection of the remaining six patients is under investigation. Six patients aged between 29 and 78 passed away. Five patients are in critical condition while a further five are in stable condition.

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

 

Angola: Yellow Fever [update]

As of 7 April, a total of 1,708 suspected and confirmed cases of yellow fever including 238 deaths had been reported in Angola. Luanda remains the most affected province.
(Source: World Health Organization 13 April 2016)

 

Uganda: Yellow Fever

In Uganda, an outbreak of yellow fever with 7 confirmed cases was reported in Masaka.

(Source: ProMED-mail 13 April 2016)

 

 

Last revision date: 18 April 2016