Travel Health News
Print
 

Travel Health News Digest (8 February 2010)

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.

(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 21 December 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, present yourself to the port health post staff stationed at all boundary control points 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.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 21 December 2009)

 

Worldwide: Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 2009

As of 31 January 2010, worldwide more than 209 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 15174 deaths.

In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, overall pandemic influenza activity continues to decline or remain low in most regions. Several areas continue to have evidence of active but declining transmission, particularly in North Africa and in limited areas of Eastern Europe and East Asia.

In North Africa, pandemic influenza transmission remains active and geographically widespread but overall activity has been declining. In West Asia, pandemic influenza transmission remains geographically widespread to regional, but overall activity remained low.

In South and Southeast Asia, pandemic influenza transmission remains active but geographically localized to regional. In India, the most active areas of transmission currently are in the western states. In Thailand, focal increase in activity were observed in several central and northern provinces.

In East Asia, pandemic influenza transmission remains active and geographically widespread across the region, however, overall activity continued to decline. In Japan, transmission remains higher on the southern island of Okinawa. In South Korea, rates of ILI continued to decline to near baseline. In Mongolia, levels of ILI have recently fallen to the expected seasonal range. In northern and southern China, rates of ILI have returned to levels seen during recent seasons. Active transmission of pandemic influenza virus also persists in Hong Kong.

In Europe, transmission of pandemic influenza virus remains active in a limited number of countries as overall activity remained low in most places. In Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Luxembourg, and Romania, rates of illness remained well below earlier peaks of activity. Small increases in ILI/ARI have been reported over the past two reporting weeks in Slovakia, Belarus, and the Russian Federation.

In the Americas, both in the tropical and northern temperate zones, overall pandemic influenza activity continued to decline or remain low in most places. In Central America and Caribbean, pandemic influenza virus transmission persists but overall activity remains low or unchanged in most places.

In temperate regions of the southern hemisphere, sporadic cases of pandemic influenza continued to be reported without evidence of sustained community transmission.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 February 2010)

 

Haiti: Earthquake (update 1)

In Haiti, there was recent growing caseload of diarrhoea and respiratory diseases in the camps.  There were also reports of suspected cases of Rubella and Tetanus.  The Ministry of Health, with support from Pan American Health Organization of World Health Organization, United Nation Children’s Fund and non-governmental partners, began a targeted immunization campaign on 2 February, focusing on populations in temporary settlements.  The immunization campaign includes Rubella and Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis vaccines for children under 7 years of age and Diphtheria and Tetanus for older.

(Source: Xinhuanet 29 January 2010, World Health Organization 2 February 2010 and ProMED 8 February 2010))

 

Thailand: Cholera

In Thailand, Pattani province had reported more than 80 cases of Cholera since the beginning of 2010. None of the patients is in critical condition.  Pipe water in the villages has been found to be infected with Cholera bacteria.  Villagers in 12 districts have contracted the disease.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 February 2010)

 

Nepal: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Nepal, an outbreak of Avian Influenza which killed 153 birds was reported in a village in Gandaki.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 5 February 2010)

 

Myanmar: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Myanmar, an outbreak of Avian Influenza which killed 100 birds was reported in a farm in Yangon.  A total of 2 355 birds were culled.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 5 February 2010)

 

Papua New Guinea: Cholera

In Papua New Guinea, another 500 people have been infected with Cholera over the holiday period, raising the total to about 1900 cases. Close to 40 people died since the beginning of the outbreak more than 5 months ago.  A first case of Cholera has been reported in the capital Port Moresby.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 February 2010)

 

South Africa: Measles

In South Africa, about 250 cases of Measles were reported in Western Cape province in the past five months.  Eastern Cape had also experienced a surge in Measles cases during the past month.

(Source: ProMED-mail 2 February 2010)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012