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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

952

World Health Organization, 17 May 2016

Brazil

802,429

World Health Organization, 13 May 2016

Cambodia

663

World Health Organization, 17 May 2016

Guangdong

39

Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, 13 May 2016

India

3,962

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

Japan

118#

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 17 May 2016

Lao PDR

442

World Health Organization, 17 May 2016

Mexico

22,805

World Health Organization, 13 May 2016

Philippines

18,790

World Health Organization, 17 May 2016

Singapore

7,888^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 19 May 2016

Sri Lanka

17,129

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 19 May 2016

Taiwan

372

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 19 May 2016

Thailand

17,170

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 17 May 2016

Vietnam

16,967

World Health Organization, 17 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

On 23 May 2016, the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health received notification of an additional imported case of Zika virus infection in Beijing from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. The male patient aged 35 developed fever and skin rash in Bolivia and then returned to Beijing.

To date, 19 imported cases of Zika Virus Infection have been notified in the Mainland.

(Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 23 May 2016)

 

New Caledonia: Zika virus infection

On 14 April 2016, New Caledonia reported to the World Health Organization the first two laboratory-confirmed locally acquired cases of Zika virus infection in 2016.

(Source: World Health Organization 20 May 2016)

 

Argentina: Zika virus infection

On 14 May 2016, the Argentina Ministry of Health reported the confirmation of two locally-acquired, vector-borne cases of Zika virus. Both cases were female with no recent travel history.


(Source: World Health Organization 19 May 2016)


Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Yellow fever

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the urban yellow fever outbreaks in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a serious public health event. The Emergency Committee of WHO advises the assurance of yellow fever vaccination of all travellers, and especially migrant workers, to and from Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo.

(Source: World Health Organization 19 May 2016)

(Editor’s note: The WHO recommends immunisation for all travellers aged nine months and above travelling to and from at-risk areas unless they are contraindicated for vaccination. Travellers vaccinated against yellow fever are given an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis which is valid for life from ten days after the injection. As it takes ten days for the vaccine to become effective in providing good protection, adequate time should be allowed for vaccination before departure.

For details, please visit: http://www.travelhealth.gov.hk/english/vaccine_prophylaxis/yellowfever.html)


Taiwan: Enterovirus and hepatitis A

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control is reporting increasing numbers of two viral diseases - enterovirus and hepatitis A. It reminds that frequent hand washing is the primary way to prevent enterovirus infection. It also urges people who plan to visit areas affected by hepatitis A and who do not have hepatitis A antibodies to receive two doses of hepatitis A vaccine.


(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2016)


Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health today (May 17) received notification of 11 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) 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. The cases comprise:

1. A man aged 64 in Wuhu, Anhui, who had poultry exposure and died;

2. A man aged 86 in Zhangzhou, Fujian, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition;

3. A female farmer aged 60 in Yancheng, Jiangsu, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition;

4. A man aged 84 in Wuhu, Anhui, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition;

5. A woman aged 85 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, who shared the same hospital ward with two previously confirmed cases and died;

6. A male farmer aged 67 in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition;

7. A female farmer aged 58 in Longyan, Fujian, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition;

8. A man aged 63 in Nantong, Jiangsu, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition;

9. A man aged 53 in Suzhou, Jiangsu, who had poultry exposure and died;

10. A man aged 26 in Jianou, Fujian, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition; and

11. A male farmer aged 80 in Huai'an, Jiangsu, who had poultry exposure and is in serious condition.

From 2013 to date, 758 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.


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


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health is today (May 17) closely monitoring a total of five additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, including one death, reported to the World Health Organization by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar, and again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks in the places they visit.

In the KSA, among the four male patients aged 39 to 70, three have underlying illnesses, two are contacts of each other, and one who died had frequent contact with dromedaries and consumption of their raw milk. In addition, three previously confirmed patients died.

In Qatar, the male patient aged 40 had frequent exposure to dromedaries.


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


 

Last revision date: 25 May 2016