Travel Health Service Year 2010

Current Travel Health News

Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (8 December 2010)

Hong Kong: Avian Influenza, human [Update]

On 17 November 2010, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health of Hong Kong reported a human case of Influenza A H5N1 infection affecting a 59-year-old woman. The patient had onset of symptoms on 2 November and was admitted to hospital on 14 November for treatment of pneumonia. Her nasopharyngeal aspirate was tested positive for Influenza A (H5N1). The patient had travel history to the Mainland with family members. Her close contacts were traced and placed under quarantine.

CHP has stepped up surveillance and epidemiological investigation since 17 November. Three weeks of strengthened surveillance has passed and no secondary spread or further case of avian influenza was detected during the period. This human case of influenza A (H5) was classified as an imported sporadic infection and is now in stable condition in the hospital.

Travellers are advised to take necessary precautions for prevention of avian influenza.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong 17, 18 November and 8 December 2010)


Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

Egypt announced a new case of human H5N1 Avian Influenza infection. The deceased was a 30-year-old woman residing north of the Capital. Of the 113 confirmed cases of the disease reported in Egypt, 37 were fatal.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 December 2010)


Japan: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Japan, an outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza which killed 57 birds was reported in a farm in Shimane. The remaining 21 549 birds were culled.

(Source: ProMED-mail 2 December 2010)


Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Vietnam, outbreaks of Avian Influenza among poultries have been reported in Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces.

(Source: ProMED-mail 29 November 2010)


Haiti and Dominican Republic: Cholera [Update]

As of 29 November, 75 888 cases of Cholera and 1 721 deaths due to the disease were reported in Haiti. The disease had already spread to Dominican Republic and USA.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 November 2010)

Travellers to the affected areas should take the following measures to prevent food and water borne diseases:
  • Wash and cook seafood thoroughly before eating, particularly crustaceans and bivalves such as shrimps, crabs, oysters and clams;
  • Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet;
  • Eat only thoroughly cooked food and food from sealed packs or cans;
  • Avoid cold dishes such as salad and ice-cream;
  • Drink only boiled water, canned or bottled drinks, pasteurized milk or dairy products;
  • Do not add ice to drinks and do not drink fresh fruit juice that has been prepared beforehand;
  • Do not patronize illegal food hawkers;
  • Wash fruit thoroughly before eating and do not eat fruit that has already been peeled or cut open; and


Papua New Guinea: Cholera

In Papua New Guinea, an outbreak of Cholera affecting hundreds of people with more than 100 deaths was reported in Western Province. The province capital Daru reported 888 cases of the disease with 33 deaths.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 November 2010)


Thailand: Dengue Fever

As of 20 November, the Ministry of Health of Thailand has reported 108 863 cases of Dengue Fever this year, of whom 131 died.  Moreover, 693 cases of dengue fever have also been reported in Phuket so far this year. The number of cases reported is on the rise.

(Source: Ministry of Health, Thailand 26 November 2010 & ProMED-mail 29 November 2010)

(Editor's notes: Travellers to the affected areas should take the precautionary measures against mosquito bite by wearing long sleeved clothing and trousers, applying insect repellents containing DEET on the exposed parts of the body, and using mosquito screens or nets in rooms which are not air-conditioned. Travellers returning from these areas and develop symptoms of the disease should seek medical consultation immediately.)


Indonesia: Dengue fever

In Indonesia, 1 781 cases of Dengue Fever including 8 deaths were reported in West Nusa Tenggara in the first ten months of this year. This figure represented an almost 3-fold increase as compared with same period last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 29 November 2010)


Malaysia: Dengue Fever [Update]

In Malaysia, 43 543 cases of Dengue Fever with 128 deaths were reported in the country so far this year. The number of dengue cases has an increase of more than 17% compared with the same period last year.

(Source: Ministry of Health Malaysia 1 December 2010)


Philippines: Black Travel Alert

Following the hostage taking incident in the Philippines which had caused casualties, the Hong Kong SAR Government has raised the Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for the Philippines to Black. Hong Kong residents are urged to avoid all travel to the Philippines. Those already there should attend to their personal safety and stay alert.
For more information, please visit the OTA webpage.

(Source: Security Bureau, Government of Hong Kong SAR 20 September 2010)