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Travel Health News Digest (15 July 2014 - 21 July 2014)

Take precautions against dengue fever when travelling abroad

Dengue fever is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. This includes various popular tourist destinations for Hong Kong people including the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Travellers planning to travel in these areas should take precautions against the disease.

Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2014 *

 

Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2014

Source of information and date of report

Australia

872

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Brazil

638,404

World Health Organization, 16 July 2014

Cambodia

482

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

18

315

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 15 July 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 21 July 2014

India

3,763

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 30 June 2014

Lao PDR

640

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Malaysia

33,456

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Mexico

33,931

World Health Organization, 16 July 2014

New Caledonia

286

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Philippines

21,690

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Singapore

10,943

Singapore National Environment Agency, 18 July 2014

Sri Lanka

21,988

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 18 July 2014

Thailand

12,860

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 16 July 2014

Vietnam

3,820

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Remark:
* Dengue reporting systems vary by country.

Travellers should stay vigilant against dengue fever and adopt the following personal preventive measures against mosquito bite:

* Always wear loose, light-coloured long-sleeved tops and trousers;
* Stay in air-conditioned residence or places with mosquito screens;
* If mosquito screen or air-conditioning is absent, aerosol insecticide and bed nets are advised;
* Use insect repellents containing DEET on exposed skin and clothing;
* Use insect repellents containing DEET apart from applying sunscreen while staying in beaches;
* Re-apply insect repellents according to instructions during the trip;
* Carry a portable bed nets and apply permethrin on it as well as to clothes if travelling to rural areas where dengue fever is prevalent.

Travellers returning from areas where dengue fever is prevalent should seek medical advice as soon as possible if they feel unwell and provide travel details to their doctors.

 

Mainland: Plague

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health last night (July 17) received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of a fatal case of pneumonic plague affecting a man aged 38 in Gansu.

The patient, who presented with fever and cough since July 13, was admitted to a local hospital on July 15 for isolation and management. His condition deteriorated and he passed away on July 16. He was a farm worker and had exposure to marmots. His clinical diagnosis was pneumonic plague.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 18 July 2014)

 

Equatorial Guinea: Poliomyelitis [Update]

As of 16 July 2014, Equatorial Guinea has reported a total of 5 wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases. According to the International Health Regulations (IHR) Temporary Recommendations issued by the Director-General of World Health Organization on 5 May 2014, Equatorial Guinea is now considered as a polio exporting country.

World Health Organization recommends all their residents and long-term visitors (of over 4 weeks) to receive a dose of polio vaccine 4 weeks to 12 months prior to international travel.

(Source: World Health Organization 17 July 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

As of 12 July 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 406 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 304 deaths. Cases have been reported from Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola, Djingaraye, Kouroussa, Boffa and Télimélé.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 July 2014)

 

 Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

As of 12 July 2014, Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 386 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 194 deaths. Cases have been reported from Kailahun, Kambia, Port Loko, Kenema and Western.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 July 2014)

 

  Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

As of 12 July 2014, the total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberiais 172 including 105 deaths. Cases have been reported from Lofa, Montserrado, Margibi and Nimba.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 July 2014)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & United Arab Emirates: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (July 15) closely monitoring nine additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome  (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel. To date, 836 laboratory confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 288 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 15 July 2014)

 

Canada: Lyme Disease

In southern Quebec of Canada, cases of Lyme Disease continue to rise.

[Editor’s note: Lyme Disease is an infectious disease caused by spirochaete. The disease is characterised by a distinctive skin lesion, general discomfort, fatigue, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle and joint pain, and lymph node swelling. Neurological, cardiac and joint abnormalities may occur in varying combinations over months to years. Lyme Disease is transmitted by ticks. It is not transmitted from person-to-person. Wild rodents and deer are important host of the vector tick species. To prevent acquiring the disease, travellers should wear light-coloured clothing that covers legs and arms, tuck trousers into socks and apply tick repellent such as DEET to skin.]

(Source: ProMED-mail 14 July 2014)

 

South Sudan: Cholera

More than 650 people have developed cholera in Upper Nile State of South Sudan, with 17 deaths confirmed.

(Source: ProMED-mail 14 July 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 21 July 2014