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Travel Health News Digest (18 June 2013 - 24 June 2013)

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring two additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). According to the WHO, the first case is a 41-year-old female who had contact with a confirmed case. The other case is a 32-year-old male with underlying medical conditions who is in critical condition. In addition, the Ministry of Health of the KSA has announced the death of a previously reported confirmed case who had been admitted to hospital on April 26.

This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 70, including 39 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 24 June 2013)

 

Global: Measles

Parts of northern Syria, northern part of Nigeria, Punjab province of Pakistan have outbreak of measles. At least 7000 people were affected in northern Syria. More than 4000 people were affected in northern part of Nigeria. For Pakistan, 17 948 measles cases have been reported from across the Punjab province, including 5204 in Lahore.

(Source: ProMED-mail 23 June 2013)

 

Indonesia: Avian Influenza, Human

The Ministry of Health in Indonesia reported that a 2-year-old boy from Bekasi, Jawa Barat province died from H5N1 Avian Influenza infection. He developed symptoms on10 June and died on19 June.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 June 2013)

 

Spain: Rabies

A dog in the city of Toledo, central Spain was confirmed to have rabies on 5th June 2013.

(Source: Public Health England 19 June 2013)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Department of Health is closely monitoring four additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). According to the WHO, the first case is a 43-year-old female from Eastern KSA who has recovered. The other three cases are female health care workers aged 29, 39 and 45 who cared for two previously confirmed cases and were detected as part of the outbreak investigation and contact tracing.

This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 68, including 38 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 23 June 2013)

 

Taiwan: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today on June 21 received notification from the health authority of Taiwan of a human case of avian influenza A(H6N1) affecting a 20-year-old woman. According to information provided by the health authority of Taiwan, the patient presented with fever, coughing, headache and myalgia on May 5. She was admitted to a hospital for management on May 8 for sustained fever and shortness of breath. Her chest X-ray indicated mild pneumonia. She was discharged on May 11 and has recovered. Avian influenza A(H6N1) virus was isolated from the patient's respiratory specimen by the relevant authority. Information of the Taiwan authority revealed that the patient had no recent travel history or poultry exposure. Among the 36 close contacts of the patient, four of them had developed influenza-like illnesses whose laboratory tests revealed the absence of avian influenza A(H6N1) virus. The H6N1 virus, a low pathogenic avian influenza virus, is commonly found in poultry. This is the first human case globally.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 21 June 2013)

 

Health Alert and Advice for Travellers to Singapore and Malaysia

  1. A smoky haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia is affecting Singapore and mainly the Southern part of Malaysia.

  2. Travellers from Hong Kong should be on the alert for possible health hazards and are also advised to take precautions when travelling to Singapore and Malaysia.

  3. Haze particles may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat in healthy individuals as well as affect the heart and lungs, especially in people who already have chronic heart or lung disease.

  4. Travellers to Singapore and Malaysia are advised to take the following precautions -
Before departure,
  • check for the latest haze situation in Singapore and Malaysia;
  • patients with heart and lung problems may want to consult their attending physicians and should in any case carry sufficient medications.
While in Singapore or Malaysia,
  • avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.  Travellers with heart and lung diseases, the elderly and children are advised to remain indoor and keep activity levels low;
  • travellers are advised to bring N95 masks with them during travel, wear masks if experiencing irritation symptoms
  • if feeling unwell, seek medical attention immediately.

 

Poland: Rubella

As of June 19, 2013, more than 26,000 cases of rubella have been reported in Poland since the beginning of 2013.  The entire country is affected, but the western region (Malopolskie and Wielkopolskie provinces) has the highest number of cases. Other provinces with high numbers of cases include Lublin, Lubusz, Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Podkarpackie, Pomeranian, and Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomeranian).

(Source: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 19 June 2013)

 

USA: Avian Influenza, poultry

Low pathogenic H7N7 avian influenza virus infection was reported in a farm in Scott County, Arkansas, USA. All 9800 susceptible birds were destroyed.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 19 June 2013)

 

Pakistan: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

From 1 January to 9 June 2013, a total of 16 suspected cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever including 6 deaths were reported from Pakistan. So far, 7 of these reported cases have been laboratory-confirmed.

(Source: World Health Organisation 14 June 2013)

 

New Zealand: Hepatitis A

An outbreak of hepatitis A was detected in Canterbury town of Ashburton, New Zealand. A total of 11 confirmed cases including 4 children aged under 5 years were reported in the past 4 weeks.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 June 2013)

 

United Kingdom: Salmonella Infection

A Salmonella outbreak has affected hundreds of people in Newcastle of United Kingdom and the investigation revealed that it was related to uncooked curry leaves. More than 400 visitors to the 3-day Street Spice event reported symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting and 29 confirmed to have Salmonella infection.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 June 2013)

 

India: Anthrax

In India. two patients from Araku Valley have been diagnosed with cutaneous anthrax.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 June 2013)

 

USA: Hepatitis A [Update]

An outbreak of Hepatitis A linked to frozen berry blend food product was reported in the USA. As of 18 June, 118 people in eight states were affected.

(Source: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 19 June 2013)

 

Asia: Dengue Fever

Lao PDR, New Caledonia, Philippines and Singapore have reported more cases of dengue fever in 2013 than 2012 for the same time period. The recent trend continued to increase sharply in Lao PDR and Singapore and increased in Cambodia and Malaysia.

(Source: World Health Organisation, Western Pacific Region Office 13 June 2013)

 

Japan: Rubella [Update]

As of 12 June 2013, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan reported that 10,102 people were diagnosed with rubella. The number of cases reported so far in 2013 is already 4 times more than the number of cases reported in 2012. In 2012, Japan reported a total of 2392 cases of rubella.

(Source: National Institute of Infectious Diseases 18 June 2013)

 

Taiwan: Dengue Fever [Update]

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control announced the outbreak of indigenous dengue fever cases continued in Pintung County (Xinyuan Township, Chao Jhou Township and Chunri Township), in Tainan City and in Kaohsiung City. As of 2013, there were 47 cases of indigenous dengue fever. There were 31 cases in Pintung County, 10 cases in Tainan City and 6 cases in Kaohsiung City.

(Source: Taiwan Centers for Disease Control 18 June 2013)

 

Taiwan: Japanese Encephalitis

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control announced the confirmation of the second case of Japanese Encephalitis. The patient was a 17-year-old male student living in Xinyuan Township of Pintung County in Taiwan. He was discharged from hospital and recovered.

(Source: Taiwan Centers for Disease Control 18 June 2013)

 

India: Rabies

6 persons have died of rabies in the State of Manipur, India in the last month.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 June 2013)

 

Philippines: Typhoid Fever

According to the Provincial Health Office of Philippines, at least 66 residents have suffered from suspected typhoid fever in 18 villages in the town of Oas in Albay.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 June 2013)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has announced an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The first patient is a 42-year-old man with an underlying medical condition from the Eastern region, the second patient is a 63-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions from Riyadh region and the third patient is a two-year-old child with an underlying medical condition from Jeddah. Additionally, four previously laboratory-confirmed cases have died.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 64 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 38 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 17June 2013)

 

Worldwide: Dengue Fever

Increasing cases of dengue fever were noted in Singapore, Myanmar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Honduras. In Singapore, as of 13 June, there were 9847 cases reported. In Myanmar, 212 cases with 1 death were related to dengue fever. In Saudi Arabia, there were 252 new cases detected.
(Source: ProMED-mail 17 June 2013)

 

Brazil: Q Fever

An outbreak of Q fever was reported in Brazil and 6 cases were notified in Belo Horizonte in April this year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 June 2013)

 


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring three additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). According to the WHO, the first patient is a 45-year-old man with underlying illnesses, who became ill since the end of May and is in critical condition. The second patient is a 68-year-old woman with underlying illnesses, who became ill on June 6 and is in critical condition. The third patient is a 46-year-old man who became ill on May 29. He was admitted to a hospital on June 8 and has died.

This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 61, including 34 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 16 June 2013)

 

 

Last revision date: 24 June 2013