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Take precautions against dengue fever when travelling abroad

As the dengue activity in southern Taiwan remains high, public are reminded to take anti-mosquito measures when travelling to the area and other Southeast Asian countries, in order to prevent dengue fever.

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

1,667

World Health Organization, 13 January 2016

Brazil

1,587,080

World Health Organization, 14 January 2016

Cambodia

15,412

World Health Organization, 13 January 2016

Guangdong

1,312

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

India

97,740

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 31 December 2015

Japan

292

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 14 January 2016

Lao PDR

1,952

World Health Organization, 13 January 2016

Malaysia

111,285

World Health Organization, 13 January 2016

Mexico

218,663

World Health Organization, 14 January 2016

Philippines

169,435

World Health Organization, 13 January 2016

Sri Lanka

29,777

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 14 January 2016

Thailand

141,375

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 30 December 2015

Vietnam

79,912

World Health Organization, 13 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

Singapore

966^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 14 January 2016

Taiwan

222

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 14 January 2016

Remark:
* Dengue reporting systems vary by country.
^ Cumulative local cases since 3 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.

 

Caribbean, Central and South America: DH alerts travellers to risk of Zika virus infection

The Department of Health (DH) drew the public's attention to the latest situation of the mosquito-borne Zika virus infection in some countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, including Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname and Venezuela, and appealed to travellers for vigilance and due consideration of health risks before the trip. Microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies were noted overseas among mothers who were infected with Zika while pregnant. In view of the latest situation, as a precautionary measure, pregnant women should consider deferring their trip to areas with past or current evidence of ongoing Zika virus transmission. Women preparing for pregnancy and those who must travel to any of these areas should seek medical advice from their doctor before the trip and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Travellers who return from areas with ongoing Zika transmission and feel unwell should seek medical advice as soon as possible and provide travel details to their doctor.

 

United States of America: Zika virus infection

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of United States of America issues a travel alert for people travelling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant should avoid going to these countries. If they must travel to these countries, they should consult their doctor before departure and adopt anti-mosquito measures strictly after arrival. People infected with Zika virus will develop symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.


(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of United States of America 15 January 2016)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health was notified of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N1) in Chengdu by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 14 January 2016)

 

United Arab Emirates: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The United Arab Emirates reported two new MERS-CoV cases, the country's first since last June.

(Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy 14 January 2015)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health received notification of eight additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) with onset of symptoms between November 24 and December 24, 2015, 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 male farmer aged 65 in Huzhou, Zhejiang, with exposure to a poultry market in critical condition;

2. A woman aged 51 in Pinghu, Zhejiang, with poultry contact who died on December 25, 2015;

3. A male farmer aged 77 in Tongxiang, Zhejiang, with exposure to a poultry market who died on December 11, 2015;

4. A woman aged 41 in Wuxi, Jiangsu, with exposure to a poultry market in serious condition;

5. A woman aged 52 in Changshu, Jiangsu, with exposure to a poultry market in critical condition;

6. A male farmer aged 53 in Huzhou, Zhejiang, with exposure to a poultry market in critical condition;

7. A woman aged 58 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, with exposure to poultry slaughtering in critical condition; and

8. A woman aged 29 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, with exposure to a poultry market in critical condition.

From 2013 to date, 678 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 12 January 2016)

 

Mozambique: Malaria

213 fatal cases of malaria were reported in the province of Tete in Mozambique in 2015.

(Source: ProMED-mail 11 January 2016)

 

 

Last revision date: 18 January 2016