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Travel Health News Digest (26 September 2012)

Prevention of a New Type of Coronavirus Infection

To protect against coronavirus infection, members of the public are advised to take the following preventive measures:

  • Build up good body immunity by having a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, and do not smoke;
  • Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene;
  • Keep hands clean and wash hands frequently with soap and water;
  • Rub hands with 70 - 80% alcohol-based handrub if they are not obviously soiled;
  • Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, and dispose of nasal and mouth discharge properly;
  • Do not touch eyes, nose and mouth with bare hands;
  • Wash hands after sneezing, coughing or cleaning the nose;
  • Maintain good ventilation;
  • Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation; and
  • Wear surgical mask and seek medical advice promptly if fever or symptoms of respiratory tract infection develop.

When planning to travel abroad and, in particular, visiting Middle East countries, please take note of the following :

Before departure: if feeling unwell, such as having fever, sore-throat, muscle pain or cough, do not travel. Postpone your trip until recovery.

While overseas: if feeling unwell, such as having fever or cough, put on a mask and inform hotel staff or your tour leader, and seek medical attention immediately.

After returning home: if falling sick, put on a mask, seek medical attention immediately, and inform the doctor of recent travel history.

For more information, please read the file.

(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR 26 September 2012)

 

United Kingdom: Novel Coronavirus Infection [Update]

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a case of novel coronavirus infection with travel history to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar on September 23, 2012.

The case was a previously healthy, 49-year-old male Qatari national who had travel history to the KSA prior to onset of illness, presented with respiratory symptoms on September 3, 2012. He is currently receiving treatment for severe respiratory illness in London, United Kingdom. Laboratory testing was conducted and the virus isolate was found to be highly similar to the coronavirus identified from another fatal case in a 60 year-old male, Saudi national, reported earlier on September 20, 2012.

CHP will closely monitor the progress of further epidemiological investigations and surveillance, and the corresponding advice from the WHO.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong 24 September 2012)
 

 

United Kingdom: Novel Coronavirus Infection

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a novel coronavirus has been identified from two patients with severe respiratory infection in the United Kingdom. One of them died from the illness. The patients had history of travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Coronaviruses are made up of a variety of viruses that cause the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

WHO is in the process of gathering further information on the new virus. At present, no travel restrictions are recommended.

(Source: World Health Organization, 23 September 2012)

 

Costa Rica: Dengue Fever

A dramatic increase in dengue fever was reported in Costa Rica since 2011, with 8,480 people affected and 9 dead this year. More than half of these cases occurred near the Caribbean coast.

(Source: World Travel Watch 20 September 2012)

 

United Kingdom: Legionnaires' Disease

In United Kingdom, an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease was reported from Carmarthenshire, Wale. Three persons were affected and all were hospitalized.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 September 2012)

 

Mainland China: Avian Influenza, poultry

The H5N1 Avian Influenza virus has been detected in the city of Zhanjiang in Guangdong province, China. Since 11 September 2012, 14 050 ducks were affected, of which 6300 were killed.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 September 2012)

 

India: Scrub Typhus

In India, scrub typhus was suspected to be the cause of 30 deaths and 6 deaths in Alwar district of Rajasthan and in Dausa respectively.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 September2012)

 

USA: Plague, Human

In Oregon, USA, a woman was infected with plague after bitten by a sick cat in June 2012. This is the second case in the state this year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 16 September 2012)

 

Syria: Black Travel Alert

As widespread violent clashes occurred in many cities across Syria, including Daraa, Latakia, Damascus, Baniyas, Aleppo, Homs and Hama, resulting in serious casualties, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has raised the Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for Syria to Black. Residents are urged to avoid all travel to the country. Those already there should attend to their personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people.

For more information, please visit the OTA webpage.

(Source: Security Bureau, Government of Hong Kong SAR 26 April 2011)

 

Philippines: Black Travel Alert

Following the hostage taking incident in the Philippines which had caused casualties, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 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)

 

WHO FAQs: Japan Nuclear Concerns

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization webpage.

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012