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Travel Health News Digest (18 May 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 recent human swine influenza (swine flu) situation a public health emergency of international concern.  Confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported and are affecting many parts of the world.  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 flu outbreak.  The symptoms of swine flu include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing.  Some may present with runny nose, sore throat, nausea, 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.  If travel to areas affected by swine flu is unavoidable, travellers should prepare adequate face masks and alcohol-based handrub 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 handrub;
  • 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 by swine flu 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, 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.

Port Health Office

22 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:

 

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.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 15 May 2009)

 

Worldwide: Influenza A (H1N1), human

As of 18 May, 2009, 40 countries have officially reported 8 829 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) infection. Mexico has reported 3 103 laboratory confirmed cases, including 68 deaths. The United States has announced 4 714 confirmed infection with 4 deaths. Canada has reported 496 confirmed infection with one death. Costa Rica has reported 9 confirmed infection with one death.
 
The following countries has announced laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Argentina(1), Australia(1), Austria(1), Belgium(5), Brazil(8), Chile(1), China(6), Colombia(11), Cuba(3), Denmark(1), Ecuador(1), El Salvador(4), Finland(2), France(14), Germany(14), Guatemala(3), India(1), Ireland(1), Israel(7), Italy(9), Japan(125), Malaysia(2), Netherlands(3), New Zealand(9), Norway(2), Panama(54), Peru(1), Poland(1), Portugal(1), Republic of Korea(3), Spain(103), Sweden 3), Switzerland(1), Thailand(2), Turkey(2) and the United Kingdom(39).
(Source: World Health Organization 18 May 2009)

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

The Ministry of Health of Egypt has reported two confirmed case of human infection with Avian Influenza. The first case was a 5-year-old girl from Sohag Governorate. She developed symptoms on 7 May and was hospitalized on 9 May and her condition is stable. The second case was a 4-year-old boy from Sharkiya Governorate. He is now in stable condition.
(Source: ProMED-mail 11 & 14 May 2009)

 

Australia: Dengue Fever

In Australia, a total of 901 cases of Dengue Fever have been reported in Queensland, the largest outbreak in at least 50 years.
(Source: ProMED-mail 12 May 2009)

 

Vietnam: Dengue Fever

In Viet Nam, more than 13 000 cases have been reported in the southern part with 11 deaths. It accounts for 84.4 per cent of the current number of Dengue Fever cases nationwide.
(Source: ProMED-mail 12 May 2009)

 

Sri Lanka: Dengue Fever

In Sri Lanka, nearly 4000 cases of Dengue Fever have been reported in the past 5 months with 55 deaths.
(Source: ProMED-mail 12 May 2009)

 

Malaysia: Chikungunya Fever

In Malaysia, an outbreak of Chikungunya Fever was reported in Kedah. Up to 9 May, 1 609 cases of Chikungunya Fever were reported.
(Source: ProMED-mail 14 May 2009)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012