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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

286

World Health Organization, 8 March 2016

Brazil

224,064

World Health Organization, 11 March 2016

Cambodia

562

World Health Organization, 8 March 2016

Guangdong

22

Health Department of Guangdong Province, 15 March 2016

India

2,085

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 29 February 2016

Japan

44#

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 15 March 2016

Lao PDR

178

World Health Organization, 8 March 2016

Mexico

14,617

World Health Organization, 11 March 2016

Philippines

18,790

World Health Organization, 8 March 2016

Singapore

5,528^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 17 March 2016

Sri Lanka

11,784

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 17March 2016

Taiwan

370

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 10 March 2016

Thailand

11,615

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 16 March 2016

Vietnam

13,086

World Health Organization, 8 March 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.

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (March 21) closely monitoring a total of six additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on March 11 and 12. 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 six patients are two men and four women, aged between 25 and 83. Among them, three patients worked in a hospital with a MERS outbreak while the source of infection of the remaining three patients is under investigation.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 21 March 2016)

 

Hong Kong: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (March 18) investigating the second imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) infection in Hong Kong this year affecting an 81-year-old woman.

The patient, with underlying illnesses, travelled to Kaiping, Guangdong on March 5. She has presented with malaise, headache, shortness of breath and fever since March 10 and was admitted to a hospital in Kaiping between March 14 and 16. Upon return to Hong Kong on March 17, she attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre on the same day and was subsequently admitted for management of pneumonia.

The patient's nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP. The patient has been admitted to the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre (HAIDC) in Princess Margaret Hospital for further management. She is now in stable condition.

Initial investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient visited a wet market near her residence in Kaiping during her stay in the Mainland and reported no direct poultry contact. Among 11 close contacts of the patient identified so far, two daughters have developed headache and malaise since March 16 and 17 respectively. They have been transferred to HAIDC for management. Other close contacts remain asymptomatic. Tracing of the patient’s contact in Hong Kong is ongoing.

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

 

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

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health is today (March 18) closely monitoring the latest update on Zika virus of the World Health Organization (WHO), and again urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures during travel. Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should consider deferring their trip to affected areas.

According to the WHO, 52 countries/areas have reported or indicated autochthonous Zika virus transmission since 2007, and three countries have reported or indicated locally acquired infections probably through sexual contact in the absence of any known mosquito vectors. They are detailed as follows:


A. Report/indication of autochthonous transmission and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and microcephaly (two)

Americas (one): Brazil;

Western Pacific (one): French Polynesia (outbreak terminated);


B. Report/indication of autochthonous transmission, GBS and no reports of microcephaly (10)

Americas: Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Venezuela;


C. Report/indication of autochthonous transmission and no reports of GBS or microcephaly (40)

Africa (two): Cape Verde, Gabon;

Americas (22): Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Saint-Martin, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands;

Southeast Asia (four): Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maldives, Thailand;

Western Pacific (12): American Samoa, Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu;


D. Locally acquired without vector-borne transmission (three)

Americas (one): the United States; and

Europe (two): France and Italy.


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

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health today (March 18) received notification of 23 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) with onset of symptoms between January 17 and February 19 from the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Mainland and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
The patients comprise 18 men and five women aged 21 to 78, seven of whom (six men and one woman) have died. Seven cases are from Zhejiang, six are from Jiangsu, six are from Hunan, three are from Fujian and one is from Shandong.

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

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (March 17) closely monitoring a total of seven additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between March 9 and 10, including two 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.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 17 March 2016)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health today (March 16) received notification of two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) between March 10 and 16 from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, Mainland and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The two patients involved a 56-year-old man who lives in Shantou and a 39-year-old woman who lives in Zhongshan.

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

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health was notified of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Guangdong by the National Health and Family Planning Commission today (March 15), and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The case involves a woman aged 40 in Huizhou, Guangdong. She developed fever and cough on February 20 and was admitted to a hospital in Huizhou on February 22. She is now in critical condition. Investigation revealed that the patient had visited live poultry market before onset of symptoms.

From 2014 to date, a total of 10 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.

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

 

Argentina: Chikungunya Fever

An outbreak of chikungunya fever was reported in Argentina. As of 27 February 2016, 1,030 suspected cases were reported. Out of which, 55 cases were tested positive for the infection (30 were classified as local cases and 25 as imported cases).  

(Source: World Health Organization 14 March 2016)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (March 15) closely monitoring a total of 25 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between February 26 and March 8, including four 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.

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

 

 

Last revision date: 22 March 2016