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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

2,003

World Health Organization, 13 December 2016

Brazil

1,452,284

World Health Organization, 12 December 2016

Cambodia

1,771

World Health Organization, 13 December 2016

Guangdong

533

Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, 14 December 2016

India

104,935

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 25 December 2016

Japan

330#

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 27 December 2016

Lao PDR

5,373

World Health Organization, 13 December 2016

Malaysia

95,665

World Health Organization, 13 December 2016

Mexico

124,580

World Health Organization, 12 December 2016

Philippines

101,401

World Health Organization, 13 December 2016

Singapore

13,091^

Singapore National Environment Agency, 29 December 2016

Sri Lanka

50,519

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 28 December 2016

Taiwan

380”

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 29 December 2016

Thailand

62,405

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 28 December 2016

Vietnam

79,204

World Health Organization, 13 December 2016

Remarks:
* Dengue reporting systems vary by country.
“ Locally-acquired
^ 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.


Hong Kong: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 30) investigating a confirmed human case of of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The male patient, aged 70 with underlying illnesses, claimed to have developed fever, cough with sputum, shortness of breath, vomiting and diarrhoea since December 26. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of United Christian Hospital (UCH) on December 27 and was admitted to isolation ward on December 28.

His sputum specimen collected on December 28 was received and confirmed yesterday (December 29) to be positive for influenza A(H7N9) virus by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB). The patient is now in stable condition and has been transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for further management.

The patient travelled to Shenzhen and Zhongshan since December 13 and returned to Hong Kong via Lo Wu on December 16. He claimed that he came across mobile stalls selling live poultry in Zhongshan.

In Hong Kong, the patient recalled having purchased a chilled chicken from a shop near a wet market in Kwun Tong on December 22 but no live poultry was sold in the shop. According to the patient, he did not enter the wet market.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 30 December 2016)

 

Pakistan: Chikungunya Fever

The District Health department Karachi Sindh, Pakistan, reported a suspected Chikungunya outbreak. More than 230 patients were reported during the month of December 2016.

(Source: ProMED-mail 29 December 2016)

 

Slovakia: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Slovakia, an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza was reported in Bratislava. The affected population included 65 hens raised in backyard. Out of which, 64 died and the remaining one was culled.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 29 December 2016)

 

Japan: Norovirus Infection, human

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan, cases of infectious gastroenteritis mainly caused by the norovirus are at their highest in a decade.

The number of patients reported by about 3,000 pediatrics departments across Japan averaged 20.89 in the week ended Dec 18, the highest for mid-December since 2006.

(Source: The Japan Times 28 December 2016)

(Editor’s notes: Norovirus infection typically causes acute gastroenteritis. It is also a common cause of food poisoning and is usually related to consumption of undercooked shellfish. People can also get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus can also cause outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in settings where people are staying close together such as schools, elderly homes, hotels and cruise ships. The disease affects people of all age groups and tends to be more common during winter. Given adequate fluids to prevent dehydration and supportive treatment, the patient usually recovers within 1 – 3 days. The method of prevention is mainly to maintain high standards of personal, food and environmental hygiene. For more details, please visit the website of the Centre for Health Protection: http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/content/9/24/33.html)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, poultry

In the Mainland, outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza were reported in farms in Sichuan and Xinjiang.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 28 December 2016)

 

Pakistan: Poliomyelitis

In Pakistan, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 has been detected from environmental samples in Quetta, Balochistan. The environmental samples were collected on 20 October and 28 November 2016 and there were no associated cases of paralysis linked to the isolated strains.

The country also continues to be affected by endemic transmission of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1). As of 21 December, 19 WPV1 cases have been reported in 2016.

(Source: World Health Organization 27 December 2016)

 

 

Last revision date: 1 January 2017