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Travel Health News Digest (11 January 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 3 January 2010, worldwide more than 208 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 12799 deaths.

The most active areas of pandemic influenza transmission currently are in parts of central, eastern and southeastern Europe, North Africa, and South Asia.

In Europe, pandemic influenza transmission remains geographically widespread throughout the continent and there continues to be intense virus circulation in several countries of central, eastern, and southeastern Europe - particularly in Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia.

In North Africa and West Asia, influenza transmission remains active. Parts of North Africa continue to report increasing respiratory diseases activity, particularly in Egypt. Elevated levels of ILI activity and increased influenza virus detections were observed during November and December in Algeria and Morocco, but activity has likely peaked in the later.

In South Asia, pandemic influenza transmission remains geographically widespread and active across the subcontinent - particularly in northern India, Nepal, and in Sri Lanka - where an increasing trend in respiratory diseases activity was reported.

In Southeast Asia, localized increases in ILI were reported in parts of Thailand over the past three weeks. In Vietnam, after a period of substantial influenza transmission during September through November, activity declined significantly in December. In Laos and Cambodia, overall respiratory disease activity was reported to be decreasing during most of December.

In East Asia, influenza/ILI activity continued to decline in Japan, in northern and southern China, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong SAR (China).  Slight increases in rates of ILI were again reported in Mongolia.

In central Asia, there is evidence of declining rates of ILI/ARI since respiratory disease activity recently peaked in late November and early December in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, respectively.

In the Americas, both in the tropical and northern temperate zones, overall pandemic influenza activity continued to decline or remain low. In North America, peak influenza activity occurred during early, mid, and late October in Mexico, the United States, and Canada, respectively.

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 8 January 2010)

 

Cambodia: Dengue Fever

In Cambodia, the number of Dengue Fever rose in 2009, but the number of fatality was significantly lower than that in 2008. There were 11 625 cases of Dengue Fever and 36 deaths in 2009, compared with 9245 cases and 65 deaths in 2008.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 January 2010)

 

Indonesia: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Indonesia, thousands of chickens were confirmed to have died of H5N1 Avian Influenza in Kapuas, Central Kalimantan.

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 January 2010)

 

Cote d'Ivoire: Yellow fever [update 1]

div>Cote d'Ivoire reported a Yellow Fever outbreak of 10 suspected cases and 6 deaths in Minignan and Madinani health districts of Denguele region. The affected areas are in the north-western part of the country near the Guinea and Mali borders.  The Ministry of Health began vaccinating people in nearby areas.
 

(Source: World Health Organization 8 January 2010)

 

Guadeloupe: Dengue Fever

In Guadeloupe of France, a sudden and significant increase in the number of Dengue Fever cases was observed. In the past 3 weeks, 89 cases were laboratory confirmed.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 January 2010)

 

Guinea: Yellow Fever

Guinea confirmed a case of Yellow Fever in the Mandiana prefecture. A total of 6 other suspected cases were reported by the health services in another district. The authority has announced the launching of a routine vaccination campaign in the Mandiana area in January 2010.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 January 2010)

 

Peru: Rabies, human

Peru reported that 7 children died in Amazonas, presumably of a bat-related Rabies outbreak.  The disease has been found in several specimens of bats that live in the area, and all the victims showed typical symptoms of Rabies.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 January 2010)

 

South Africa: Malaria

In South Africa, there were more than 947 confirmed cases of Malaria in Limpopo since the start of the rainy season, and the number of patients was expected to soar.

(Source: ProMED-mail 6 January 2010)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012