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Travel Health News Digest (6 July 2009)

Advice for Travellers Planning to Visit Human Swine Influenza Affected Areas

Human Swine Influenza (Influenza A / H1N1)
The World Health Organization has declared the human swine influenza (swine flu) outbreak a global pandemic.  Confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported in many parts of the world, including Hong Kong.
 

Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine flu outbreak.  The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle pain and headache.  Some people infected with swine flu may also have vomiting and diarrhoea.
 

Advice
Strict adherence to personal and environmental hygiene is essential for prevention of swine flu.  Department of Health reminds travellers to watch out for the latest developments in the swine flu outbreak when planning travel.  Travellers should prepare adequate face masks and alcohol-based handrub and take the following precautionary measures:
 
  • During the trip: maintain good personal hygiene, wash hands or use handrub frequently and avoid contact with sick people.
  • Before returning: do not get on board an airplane when influenza-like symptoms develop.  Put on a mask and seek medical attention where you are.
  • After returning: avoid going to crowded places and pay close attention to your health.  Seek medical consultation from public clinics or hospitals right away if influenza-like symptoms appear.
 

The Government of the HKSAR requires each arriving passenger to complete a Health Declaration Form and return it to designated collection points.
 

Use of Anti-viral Drugs
According to interim testing result performed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, human swine influenza virus is sensitive to two antiviral drugs, namely Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza).  You should consult your doctor before taking these anti-viral drugs.

(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 22 June 2009)

 

Advice for Inbound Travellers/Returnees to Hong Kong on Prevention of Human Swine Influenza (Influenza A/H1N1)

The World Health Organization has declared the human swine influenza (swine flu) outbreak a global pandemic. Confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported in many parts of the world, including Hong Kong.
 

Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine flu outbreak. The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle pain and headache. Some people infected with swine flu may also have vomiting and diarrhoea.
 

Advice
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government appeals to all inbound travellers/returnees to Hong Kong to observe the following:
  • While overseas, exercise good personal hygiene, e.g. observe hand hygiene and cough manners, and -
    • pay attention to announcements from the local government
    • follow local public health guidelines, including any movement restrictions and preventive recommendations
    • avoid contact with sick people
  • Before returning, do not get on board an airplane when influenza-like symptoms develop. Put on a mask and seek medical attention where you are.
  • If you develop symptoms while on board, put on a mask and notify the crew right away. The crew will in turn follow established procedures and alert ground control. Port health team will board the airplane to assess and follow up on landing.
  • Upon landing, accurately and honestly complete the health declaration form; or present yourself to the port health post stationed at all border crossings if you have a health concern.
  • After returning, avoid going to crowded places and pay close attention to your health. Seek medical consultation from public clinics or hospitals right away if influenza-like symptoms appear.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 25 June 2009)

 

Worldwide: Influenza A (H1N1), human

As of 6 July, 2009, 122 countries have officially reported 94 512 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 429 deaths. United States has announced 33 902 confirmed infection with 170 deaths. Mexico has reported 10 262 laboratory confirmed cases, including 119 deaths. Argentina has reported 2 485 confirmed infection with 60 deaths. Canada has reported 7 983 confirmed infection with 25 deaths. Chile has reported 7 376 confirmed infection with 14 deaths. Australia has reported 5 298 confirmed infection with 10 deaths. Thailand has reported 2 076 confirmed infection with 7 deaths. Uruguay has reported 195 confirmed infection with 4 deaths. Costa Rica has reported 277 confirmed infection with 3 deaths. New Zealand has reported 1 059 confirmed infection with 3 deaths. United Kingdom has reported 7 447 confirmed infection with 3 deaths. Colombia has reported 118 confirmed infection with 2 deaths. Dominican Republic has reported 108 confirmed infection with 2 deaths. Guatemala has reported 286 confirmed infection with 2 deaths. Brazil has reported 737 confirmed infection with one death. Honduras has reported 123 confirmed infection with one death. Paraguay has reported 106 confirmed infection with one death. The Philippines has reported 1 709 confirmed infection with one death. Spain has reported 776 confirmed infection with one death.
 
The following countries has announced laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Algeria(5), Antigua and Barbuda(2), Austria(19), Bahamas(7), Bahrain(15), Bangladesh(18), Barbados(12), Belgium(54), Bermuda, UKOT(1), Bolivia(416), Bosnia and Hezegovina(1), British Virgin Islands, UKOT(2), Brunei Darussalam(124), Bulgaria(10), Cambodia(7), Cape Verde(3), Cayman Islands, UKOT(14), China(2040), Cook Island(1), Cote d’Ivoire(2), Croatia(1), Cuba(85), Cyprus(109), Czech Republic(15) Denmark(66), Dominica(1), Ecuador(204), Egypt(78), El Salvador(319), Estonia(13), Ethiopia(3), Fiji(2), Finland(47), France(310), Germany(505), Greece(151), Guyana(2), Hungary(11), Iceland(4), India(129), Indonesia(20), Iran(1), Iraq(12), Ireland(74), Israel(681), Italy(146), Jamaica(32), Japan(1790), Jordan(23), Kenya(15), Republic of Korea(202), Kuwait(35), Laos(5), Latvia(1), Lebanon(49), Libya(1), Lithuania(3), Luxembourg(6), Macedonia(2), Malaysia(112), Malta(24), Mauritius(1), Montenegro(10), Morocco(17), Myanmar(1), Nepal(5), Netherlands(135), Nicaragua(321), Norway(41), Oman(4), Palau(1), Panama(417), Papua New Guinea(1), Peru(916), Poland(25), Portugal(42), Qatar(23), Romania(41), Russia(3), Saint Lucia(1), Samoa(1), Saudi Arabia(114), Serbia(15), Singapore(1055), Slovakia(18), Slovenia(14), South Africa(18), Sri Lanka(19), Suriname(11), Sweden(84), Switzerland(76), Syria(1), Trinidad and Tobago(65), Tunisia(5), Turkey(40), Uganda(1), Ukraine(1), United Arab Emirates(8), Vanuatu(2), Venezuela(206), Vietnam(181), West Bank and Gaza Strip(60) and Yemen(8).
(Source: World Health Organization 6 July 2009)

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

Egypt announced 3 new human cases of Avian Influenza infection. The first case was a 1-year-old boy from Domiat Governorate. He developed symptoms on 2 June and has recovered and was discharged. The second case was a 4-year-old girl from Dakahlia Governorate. She developed symptoms on 5 June and has recovered and was discharged. The third case was a 1-year-old boy from Kefr El Sheikh Governorate. He developed symptoms on 15 June and was hospitalized on 16 June. His condition was stable. Of the 81 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 27 have been fatal.
(Source: World Health Organization 1 July 2009)

 

Philippines: Dengue Fever

In the Philippines, an outbreak of Dengue Fever affecting 181 people with at least 2 deaths was reported in Isabela province.
(Source: ProMED-mail 29 June 2009)

 

Sri Lanka: Dengue Fever

In Sri Lanka, more than 10 000 cases of Dengue Fever with 146 deaths were reported. The seriously affected areas included Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha, Kalutara, Matale and Kegalle.
(Source: ProMED-mail 29 June 2009)

 

Vietnam: Dengue Fever

In Viet Nam, nearly 23 000 cases of Dengue Fever with 22 deaths were reported in the country so far this year. Hochiminh city was hardest hit by the disease.
(Source: ProMED-mail 29 June 2009)

 

Thailand: Chikungunya Fever

In Thailand, 2 155 cases of Chikungunya Fever with no death were reported in Phuket in the first half of this year.
(Source: ProMED-mail 3 July 2009)

 

India: Anthrax

In India, an outbreak of Anthrax affecting at least 12 people was reported in Orissa. The people fell ill after eating raw beef.
(Source: ProMED-mail 29 June 2009)

 

Vietnam: Rabies, Human

In Vietnam, an outbreak of Rabies which killed 4 people was reported in Lai Chau.
(Source: ProMED-mail 3 July 2009)

 

United Kingdom: Mumps

In United Kingdom, an outbreak of Mumps affecting 43 people was reported in Lincolnshire. Only 3 cases were reported in the same area in the whole year of 2008.
(Source: ProMED-mail 4 July 2009)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012