Travel Health Service Year 2010

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Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (20 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)


Haiti: Cholera [Update]

As of 13 December, 104 000 cases of Cholera and more than 2 300 deaths due to the disease were reported in Haiti.

(Source: ProMED-mail 14 December 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


Dominican Republic: Cholera [Update]

As of 13 December 2010, 32 confirmed cases of Cholera in Dominican Republic were reported. 

(Source: ProMED-mail 14 December 2010)


Philippines: Typhoid Fever

In the Philippines, an outbreak of Typhoid Fever affecting 320 people was reported in the municipality of Alegria, Cebu.

(Source: National Travel Health Network and Centre, UK 17 December 2010)


Thailand: Dengue Fever

As of 11 December, the Ministry of Health of Thailand has reported 112 647 cases of Dengue Fever this year, of whom 139 died.

(Source: Ministry of Health, Thailand 17 December 2010)


United Kingdom: Influenza

The United Kingdom has reported an increase in the number of severe cases of infection with influenza H1N1 (2009) virus across the country, particularly in the last 3 weeks. The epidemiological, clinical, and virological profile of severe cases of infection with H1N1 (2009) virus is similar to what was observed globally during the influenza H1N1 2009 pandemic. Notably, there has been no change in the antigenic character of the virus, implying that the currently available vaccine should continue to provide protection.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 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)