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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



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



World Health Organization, 28 March 2017

Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2017 *


Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2017

Source of information and date of report



World Health Organization, 28 March 2017



World Health Organization, 10 April 2017



World Health Organization, 28 March 2017



Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, 15 March 2017



National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 11 April 2017



World Health Organization, 28 March 2017



World Health Organization, 28 March 2017



World Health Organization, 10 April 2017



Singapore National Environment Agency, 12 April 2017

Sri Lanka


Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 7 April 2017



CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 12 April 2017



Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 11 April 2017



World Health Organization, 28 March 2017

* Dengue reporting systems vary by country.
“ Locally-acquired
# Cumulative cases since 2 January 2017.

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.

Germany, Italy and Belgium: Measles [Update]

Health officials in Germany, Italy and Belgium have reported outbreaks of measles.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travellers to Germany, Italy and Belgium should make sure they are vaccinated against measles.

(Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 17 April 2017)


Brazil: Chikungunya Fever [Update]

So far this year, Brazil reported 26,854 cases of Chikungunya fever.

(Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy 17 April 2017)


Somalia: Cholera [Update]

More than 25,000 cases of cholera have been reported in Somalia. At least 524 deaths have been recorded.

(Source: ProMED-mail 16 April 2017)


Mainland: Avian influenza, human [Update]

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health received notification of 14 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including two deaths, from the National Health and Family Planning Commission, and strongly urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel, particularly in Easter.

The eleven male and three female patients, aged from 39 to 81, had onset from March 27 to April 11, including three from Sichuan, two each from Henan, Shandong and Xizang, and one each from Anhui, Beijing, Hunan, Tianjin and Zhejiang. Among them, 13 had exposure to poultry, poultry markets or mobile stalls.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 14 April 2017)


Taiwan: Measles [Update]

Taiwan reported an imported measles case in a female flight attendant who resides in northern Taiwan. During the incubation period, she visited France, Singapore, China (Beijing and Hanzhou), and Thailand (Bangkok).

During the infectious period, she worked on Elite Class for Flight B62 that departed from Vienna, Austria to Bangkok during April 5 and 6, 2017, and then on Elite Class for Flight BR212 that departed from Thailand to Taoyuan, Taiwan on April 7.

Passengers who took Elite Class on the same flights on the same days are thus urged to conduct self-health management for 18 days (till April 24 for those who took the flight on April 5 and 6). If suspected symptoms develop, please put on a mask immediately, seek prompt medical attention and voluntarily notify the physician of the relevant exposure history.

(Source: Taiwan Centers for Disease Control 12 April 2017)


Botswana: Malaria [Update]

By the beginning of March this year, Botswana has recorded 627 cases of malaria and 7 deaths. About 60% of cases were from Okavango District.

(Source: ProMED-mail 12 April 2017)


Bangladesh: Avian Influenza, wild birds

Outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5) was reported in Bangladesh.

(Source: ProMED-mail 12 April 2017)


Japan: Infant Botulism

A 6-month-old boy died of infant botulism in Japan last month after his family fed him honey.

(Source: ProMED-mail 11 April 2017)

[Editor’s notes: Infant botulism occurs mostly in infants under 6 months of age. It occurs when infants ingest Clostridium botulinum spores, which germinate into bacteria that colonize in the gut and release toxins. In most adults and children older than about six months, this would not happen because natural defences that develop over time prevent germination and growth of the bacterium. Clostridium botulinum in infants includes constipation, loss of appetite, weakness, an altered cry and a striking loss of head control. Although there are several possible sources of infection for infant botulism, spore-contaminated honey has been associated with a number of cases.]



Last revision date: 13 April 2017