Travel Health Service Year 2010

Current Travel Health News

Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (29 November 2010)

Hong Kong: Avian Influenza, human [Update]

As announced on 17 November 2010, the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health of Hong Kong investigated a case of Influenza A H5N1 infection affecting a 59-year-old woman. The patient developed running nose since 2 November 2010 and fever and cough on 5 November.  On 14 November, she was admitted to hospital for persistent fever and productive cough with blood-stained sputum.  She was diagnosed to have pneumonia and is now in serious condition.  Her nasopharyngeal aspirate was tested positive for Influenza A (H5N1).  The patient travelled to the Mainland with her husband and daughter between 23 October and 1 November, during which she did not have any contact with live poultry contact and did not visit farms.  Her 60-year-old husband had history of running nose and productive cough but has recovered. Latest laboratory results on 18 November revealed that all her close contacts were negative for Influenza A (H5).

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

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


Haiti and Dominican Republic: Cholera [Update]

As of 25 November, the Ministry of Public Health and Population in Haiti reported 69 776 cumulative cases of Cholera including 1 603 deaths. In the capital, Port-au-Prince and metropolitan area, 5 778 cases with 95 deaths were reported as of 20 November.
The Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic has reported 4 cases of cholera so far.
Furthermore, one suspected cholera case was reported in the USA on 25 November. The patient was a doctor who had been treating patients in Haiti and felt ill during the flight from Haiti to Florida.

(Source: ProMED-mail 27 November 2010 and World Health Organization 24 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


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)


Indonesia: Rabies, human [Update]

Indonesia has reported 123 suspected cases of human Rabies with 75 deaths in Bali since the end of 2008. The latest victim was a 13-year-boy from Tegallalang. He was bitten by a dog 3 months ago and died on 23 November.

(Source: ProMED-mail 25 November 2010)

(Editor's notes: Travellers should avoid contact with animals. Immunisation (both pre-exposure and post-exposure), combined with thorough wound cleaning, is the most reliable methods of preventing rabies. Travellers visiting Bali with prolonged stay or anticipated contact with animals should seek medical consultation for pre-travel health advice and pre-exposure rabies vaccination if indicated.)


India: Dengue Fever [Update]

In Delhi, India, there were 21 new Dengue Fever cases recorded on 15 November, bringing the total number of cases to 5 994 with 8 deaths. The number of dengue cases started showing a downward trend due to the advent of winter, low temperature and less humidity.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 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.)


India: Malaria

In India, 22 Malaria cases were reported in Bicholim, Goa. Most of the cases have been detected at the construction site of a new primary health centre.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 November 2010)


Philippines: Dengue Fever [Update]

In the Philippines, 119 789 cases of Dengue Fever with 724 deaths were reported in the country so far this year. The number of dengue cases is an increase of more than 140% compared with the same period last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 November 2010)


Thailand: Dengue Fever [Update]

As of 20 November 2010, the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand reported a total of 108 863 Dengue Fever cases with 131 deaths nationwide. Most cases were reported from Bangkok.

(Source: Ministry of Public Health, Thailand 24 November 2010)


Taiwan: Dengue Fever [Update]

Taiwan has confirmed 109 more cases of Dengue Fever in the recent week, bringing the total number of cases to 1 547 so far this year. Most of the new cases are reported from the cities of Kaohsiung.

(Source: Centres for Disease Control, Taiwan 23 November 2010)


Venezuela: Dengue Fever [Update]

Venezuela has reported 106 725 cases of Dengue Fever so far this year, and this is an increase of 240% compared to the same period last year when 44 933 dengue cases were recorded.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 November 2010)


Pakistan: Dengue Fever [Update]

In Pakistan, 3 016 cases of Dengue Fever with 21 deaths were reported from Sindh province. Out of which 2 573 cases with 16 deaths were reported from Karachi.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 November 2010)


Pakistan: Measles

In Pakistan, 42 cases of Measles with 11 deaths were reported in Sindh province and one case was reported in the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

(Source: ProMED-mail 25 November 2010)


Republic of Congo: Poliomyelitis [Update]

In Republic of Congo, the outbreak of Poliomyelitis continued to affect the country with 409 cases of acute flaccid paralysis including 169 deaths reported so far since the outbreak began in October this year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 26 November 2010)