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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

621

World Health Organization, 19 April 2016

Brazil

802,429

World Health Organization, 22 April 2016

Cambodia

663

World Health Organization, 19 April 2016

Guangdong

29

Health Department of Guangdong Province, 15 April 2016

India

2,929

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

Japan

101#

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 26 April 2016

Lao PDR

260

World Health Organization, 19 April 2016

Mexico

21,728

World Health Organization, 22 April 2016

Philippines

18,790

World Health Organization, 19 April 2016

Singapore

7,235^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 28 April 2016

Sri Lanka

15,381

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 27 April 2016

Taiwan

372

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 28 April 2016

Thailand

15,912

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 27 April 2016

Vietnam

13,086

World Health Organization, 19 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.

 

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

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health is today (April 29) 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, Canada recently reported person-to-person Zika virus transmission. To date, 55 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.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 29 April 2016)

 

Australia: Ross River Virus

In Australia, 1.426 cases of Ross River Virus were reported in Queensland so far this year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 28 April 2016)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 27) closely monitoring a total of three additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between April 19 and 23. 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 two men and one woman aged from 24 to 58, with one having underlying illnesses. Among them, one is a healthcare worker who has a history of caring for a confirmed case. The other two are household contacts of previously confirmed cases, while one of them also had a history of frequent contact with dromedaries and consumption of their raw milk.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 27 April 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(H5N6) in Hunan by the National Health and Family Planning Commission today (April 26), and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The case involves an 11-year-old girl who lives in Zhuzhou, Hunan. With history of poultry contact before onset, the patient developed fever on April 11 and was admitted to a local hospital the next day. She is now in stable condition.

From 2014 to date, a total of 12 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 26 April 2016)

 

Bahrain: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 26) closely monitoring the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Bahrain, which was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 10. The CHP again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of the health risks in the places they visit.

According to the WHO, the patient is a 61-year-old man from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). He was admitted to a healthcare facility in Bahrain on March 29 for an unrelated medical condition and tested negative for MERS Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). He developed symptoms on April 4 during hospitalisation and tested positive for MERS-CoV on April 9. The patient owned a dromedary barn in KSA and had history of frequent contact with dromedaries and consumption of their raw milk. He was transferred to a hospital in KSA on April 12 but passed away on the same day.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 26 April 2016)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 25) closely monitoring a total of 10 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between April 1 and 15, including three 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 nine men and one woman aged from 21 to 75, with eight having underlying illnesses. Among them, four had a history of frequent contact with dromedaries and consumption of their raw milk, one had contact with a previously confirmed case in a hospital and one was admitted to a hospital in which a MERS outbreak occurred. The source of infection of the remaining four patients is under investigation. Three patients aged between 70 and 75 passed away. Two patients are in a critical condition while the remaining five are in a stable condition.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 25 April 2016)

 

 

Last revision date: 29 April 2016