Travel Health News Digest (25 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:
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.
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.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 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.
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 25 May, 2009, 46 countries have officially reported 12 515 cases of Influenza A (H1N1)
infection, including 91 deaths. Mexico
has reported 4 174 laboratory confirmed cases, including 80 deaths. The United States
has announced 6 552 confirmed infection with 9 deaths. Canada
has reported 805 confirmed infection with one death. Costa Rica
has reported 28 confirmed infection with one death.
The following countries has announced laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Argentina(2), Australia(16), Austria(1), Belgium(7), Brazil(9), Chile(44), China(15), Colombia(13), Cuba(4), Denmark(1), Ecuador(10), El Salvador(6), Finland(2), France(16), Germany(17), Greece(1), Guatemala(4), Honduras(1), Iceland(1), India(1), Ireland(1), Israel(8), Italy(19), Japan(345), Kuwait(18), Malaysia(2), Netherlands(3), New Zealand(9), Norway(4),
Panama(76), Peru(25), Philippines(1), Poland(3), Portugal(1), Russia(1), Republic of Korea(3), Spain(133), Sweden(3), Switzerland(3), Thailand(2), Turkey(2) and the United Kingdom(122).
(Source: World Health Organization 25 May 2009)
Egypt: Avian Influenza, human
The Ministry of Health of Egypt
has reported five new confirmed cases of human infection with Avian Influenza
between 13 to 20 May. The first case was a 4-year-old boy from Sharkia Governorate. He developed symptoms on 10 May and was admitted on 11 May. He is now in a stable condition. The second case was a 3-year-old boy from Gharbia Governorate. He developed symptoms on 12 May and was admitted on 15 May. He is now in a stable condition. The third case was a 4-year-old girl from Dakahlia Governorate. She developed symptoms on 9 May and was admitted on 17 May. She died on 18 May. The fourth case was a 4-year-old boy from Dakahlia Governorate. He developed symptoms on 18 May and was admitted on the same day. He is now in a stable condition. The fifth case was a 3-year-old boy from Sohag Governorate. He developed symptoms on 17 May and
was admitted on 18 May. He is now in a stable condition. Investigations into the source of infection indicated that all the above cases had close contact with dead and sick poultry.
(Source: World Health Organization 22 May 2009)
Mainland: Avian Influenza, poultry
In the Mainland
, an outbreak of Avian Influenza
which killed 121 wild birds was reported in Qinghai.
(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2009)
Thailand: Chikungunya Fever
, an outbreak of Chikungunya Fever
affecting more than 500 people was reported in Trang province. As of 6 May, 17 946 cases of Chikungunya Fever were reported in the 10 southern provinces of the country.
(Source: ProMED-mail 20 May 2009)
Turkey: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever
, two people died of suspected Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
. The two victims were a 38-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman respectively. They both had been bitten by ticks in central Anatolian before death.
(Source: ProMED-mail 24 May 2009)