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Travel Health News Digest (22 June 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)

 

Worldwide: Influenza A (H1N1), human

As of 22 June, 2009, 93 countries have officially reported 52 160 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 231 deaths. Mexico has reported 7 624 laboratory confirmed cases, including 113 deaths. The United States has announced 21 449 confirmed infection with 87 deaths. Canada has reported 5 710 confirmed infection with 13 deaths. Argentina has reported 1 010 confirmed infection with 7 deaths. Chile has reported 4 315 confirmed infection with 4 deaths. Colombia has reported 71 confirmed infection with 2 deaths. Australia has reported 2 436 confirmed infection with one death. Costa Rica has reported 149 confirmed infection with one death. Dominican Republic has reported 93 confirmed infection with one death. Guatemala has reported 208 confirmed infection with one death. United Kingdom has reported 2 506 confirmed infection with one death.
 
The following countries has announced laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Algeria(1), Austria(9), Bahamas(2), Bahrain(15), Bangladesh(1), Barbados(4), Belgium(29), Bermuda UKOT(1), Bolivia(25), Brazil(131), British Virgin Islands, UKOT(1), Brunei Darussalam(1), Bulgaria(2), Cayman Islands, UKOT(4), China(739), Cuba(15), Cyprus(4), Czech Republic(7) Denmark(23), Dominica(1), Ecuador(95), Egypt(39), El Salvador(160), Estonia(5), Fiji(1), Finland(13), France(147), Germany(275), Greece(48), Honduras(108), Hungary(7), Iceland(4), India(44), Ireland(23), Israel(291), Italy(88), Jamaica(19), Japan(850), Jordan(13), Republic of Korea(105), Kuwait(26), Laos(2), Lebanon(12), Luxembourg(3), Malaysia(23), Morocco(6), Netherlands(91), New Zealand(258), Nicaragua(189), Norway(17), Oman(3), Panama(330), Papua New Guinea(1), Paraguay(48), Peru(185), Philippines(344), Poland(13), Portugal(6), Qatar(8), Romania(18), Russia(3), Samoa(1), Saudi Arabia(35), Singapore(142), Slovakia(3), Slovenia(1), South Africa(1), Spain(522), Sri Lanka(4), Suriname(11), Sweden(48), Switzerland(31), Thailand(589), Trinidad and Tobago(18), Turkey(20), Ukraine(1), United Arab Emirates(2), Uruguay(36), Venezuela(71), Vietnam(35), West Bank and Gaza Strip(8) and Yemen(5).
(Source: World Health Organization 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.
 
Department of Health
25 June 2009

 

Bangladesh: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Bangladesh, outbreaks of Avian Influenza among poultry were reported in farms in Chittagong and Dhaka.
(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 17 June 2009)

 

Brazil: Yellow Fever

In Brazil, a total of 19 human cases of Yellow Fever with 7 deaths were reported in Rio Grande do Sul State during the period from November 2008 to May 2009. The most recent case was reported from Santa Cruz do Sol and a number of municipalities were newly added to the list of risk areas including Porto Alegre. As of 26 May, Sao Paulo State authority reported a total of 26 human cases of Yellow Fever with 9 deaths. Cases were reported from the municipalities of Buri, Itatinga, Piraju and Sarutaia, areas outside the previously reported risk area.
(Source: National Travel Health Network and Centre 17 June 2009)

 

Libya: Plague, human

In Libya, an outbreak of Plague affecting 16 to18 people with one death was reported in Tubruq.
(Source: ProMED-mail 16 June 2009)

 

Russia: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

In Russia, 23 cases of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever were reported in Stavropol Krai so far this year, 13 cases less than the same period last year.
(Source: ProMED-mail 20 June 2009)

 

Indonesia: Avian Influenza, human

In Indonesia, a suspected human case of Avian Influenza infection was reported. The victim was a 5-year-old child who had visited West Java and then South Jakarta before falling ill. He developed symptoms on 8 June and died on 18 June.
(Source: ProMED-mail 21 June 2009)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012