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Travel Health News Digest (11 May 2009)

Advice for Travellers Planning to Visit Swine Influenza Affected Areas

Human Swine Influenza
The World Health Organization has declared the recent human Swine Influenza situation a public health emergency of international concern.  Confirmed human cases of Swine Influenza A (H1N1) have been reported in many parts of the world including Hong Kong.  Please visit this website for the updated list of affected areas: http://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/Swine_flu_List_of_affected_areas.pdf
 
Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present Swine Influenza outbreak.  Symptoms of Swine Influenza include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing.  Some may present with running nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
 
Advice for Travellers
Strict adherence to personal and environmental hygiene is essential for prevention of Swine Influenza.  DH reminds travellers to watch out for the latest developments of Swine Influenza when planning travel, and consider postponing trips to affected areas.  If travel to such places is unavoidable, travellers should prepare adequate face masks and alcohol-based hand cleaners and take the following precautionary measures:
 
  •        Wear a mask during travel;
  •        Avoid contact with sick people;
  •        Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth;
  •        Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or apply alcohol-based hand cleaners;
  •        If signs or symptoms of influenza appear, seek medical advice promptly and provide details of your recent travel.
 
The Government of the HKSAR requires each arriving passenger to complete a Health Declaration Form and return it to designated collection points.  Travellers returning from affected areas should wear a mask for 7 days and pay close attention to your health.
 
Use of Anti-viral Drugs
According to interim testing result performed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, this new swine influenza virus is sensitive to 2 antiviral drugs, namely Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza). You should consult your doctor before taking the anti-viral drugs.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 7 May 2009)

 

Advice for Inbound Travellers/Returnees on Prevention of Human Swine Influenza

The World Health Organization has declared the recent human swine influenza situation a public health emergency of international concern. Confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 (swine flu) have been reported and are affecting many parts of the world. It is important to visit this website for the updated list of affected areas:

http://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/Swine_flu_List_of_affected_areas.pdf

Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine flu outbreak. The symptoms of swine influenza include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some may present with runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

 Advice

 The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government appeals to all inbound travellers/returnees to Hong Kong , especially students returning for the summer from affected areas, to observe the following:

  • While overseas, exercise good personal hygiene, e.g. observe hand hygiene and cough manners. Those in affected areas should especially:
  • pay attention to announcements from the local government
  • follow local public health guidelines, including any movement restrictions and preventive recommendations
  • put on a mask during your stay
  • do not have contact with sick people
  • Postpone your trip if you develop symptoms such as fever, cough and sore throat. Wear a mask and seek medical attention immediately for your own safety and health of travel collaterals.
  • 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 flight 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 arrival from an affected area, pay close attention to their health and wear a mask for 7 days after arrival. You should seek medical consultation from public clinics or hospitals and contact the Department of Health hotline 2125 1111 immediately if fever or influenza-like symptoms appear.

 

Department of Health

15 May 2009

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

The Ministry of Health of Egypt has reported a new confirmed case of human infection with Avian Influenza. The case was a 34-year-old female from Gharbia Governorate. She developed symptoms on 21 April and is in stable condition.
(Source: World Health Organization 6 May 2009)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, human

In Vietnam, the Ministry of Health has confirmed a new human case of H5N1 Avian Influenza. The case was a 23-year-old woman from Thanh Hoa Province. She developed symptoms on 14 April, was hospitalized on 21 April and died on 22 April. Birds infected with H5N1 Avian Influenza were found in the household where the woman lived.
(Source: World Health Organization 6 May 2009)

 

Nigeria: Meningococcal Meningitis

In Nigeria, 47 902 cases of Meningococcal Meningitis including 2 148 deaths have been reported in the country since the outbreak began in December last year.
(Source: ProMED-mail 9 May 2009)

 

Liberia: Yellow Fever [update]

The Ministry of Health of Liberia reported one additional confirmed case of Yellow Fever, who was a 32-year-old man from Zorzor District of Lofa County.
(Source: World Health Organization 6 May 2009)

 

Worldwide: Influenza A (H1N1), human

As of 10 May, 2009, 29 countries have officially reported 4 379 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) infection. Mexico has reported 1 626 laboratory confirmed cases, including 45 deaths. The United States has announced 2 254 confirmed infection with 2 deaths. Canada has reported 280 confirmed infection with one death. Costa Rica has reported 8 confirmed cases with one death.
The following countries has announced laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Argentina (1), Australia (1), Austria (1), Brazil (6), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), El Salvador (2), France (12), Germany (11), Guatemala (1), Ireland (1), Israel (7), Italy (9), Japan (4), Netherlands (3), New Zealand (7), Panama (3), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (3), Spain (93), Sweden (1), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (39).
(Source: World Health Organization 10 May 2009)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012