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Travel Health News Digest (18 March 2014 - 24 March 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. The American, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific regions are the most seriously affected. Various popular tourist attractions among Hong Kong people including Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia observe high activities of dengue fever.

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

Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2013 *

 

Cumulative reported no. of cases since 01/01/2013

Source of information and
date of report

Cambodia

16,722

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

China
  Guangdong province


2,896

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 14 March 2014

Taiwan

912

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 24 March 2014

Vietnam

66,140

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014


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

242

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Brazil

18,580

World Health Organization, 14 March 2014

India

1,203

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 28 February 2014

Lao PDR

118

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Malaysia

13,915

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Mexico

2,364

World Health Organization, 14 March 2014

New Caledonia

56

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Philippines

3,549

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Singapore

3,529

Singapore National Environment Agency, 21 March 2014

Sri Lanka

6,104

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 24 March 2014

Thailand

3,214

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 18 March 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: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (March 22), two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) respectively in Shantou and Jiangsu according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities. As of yesterday, a total of 388 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (92 cases), Jiangsu (44 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (21 cases), Hunan (19 cases), Anhui (10 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 23 March 2014)

 

Uganda: Measles

From 3 to 9 Mar 2014, 44 suspected measles cases were reported from 23 districts in Uganda.

(Source: ProMED-mail 23 March 2014)

 

USA: Measles

Measles outbreaks have been reported in California and New York City, USA.

(Source: ProMED-mail 23 March 2014)

 

Pakistan: Measles

A measles outbreak occurred in mountainous villages in Pakistan.

(Source: ProMED-mail 23 March 2014)

 

Caribbean: Chikungunya Fever

As of 21 Mar 2014, there have been more than 15 000 probable and confirmed cases of Chikungunya fever in the Caribbean region.

(Source: ProMED-mail 23 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (March 21) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Shenzhen from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province. As of yesterday, a total of 386 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (91 cases), Jiangsu (43 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (21 cases), Hunan (19 cases), Anhui (10 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 22 March 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever

An outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever began on 9 February 2014 in southern Guinea. The outbreak involves 80 cases, including 59 deaths.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 March 2014)

 

Argentina: Hantavirus Infection

A suspected fatal case of Hantavirus infection was reported in Bariloche, Argentina, involving a 35-year-old man.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 March 2014)

 

UK: Scarlet Fever

From weeks 37 of 2013 to 11 of 2014, a total of 3548 notifications of scarlet fever have been made in England, UK compared to an average of 1420 for the same period in the previous 10 years.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 March 2014)

 

USA: Typhus

A case of flea-borne typhus was confirmed in California, USA.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 March 2014)

 

Equatorial Guinea: Poliomyelitis

A new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case was also reported in Equatorial Guinea from Centro Sur province, close to the border with Cameroon. This is the first poliovirus case reported from the country since 1999.

(Source: ProMED-mail 21 March 2014)

 

Cambodia: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza was reported in Kampot, Cambodia. Of 526 birds, 301 were found dead and the rest were destroyed.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 21 March 2014)

 

Kuwait and United Arab Emirates: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

WHO has been informed of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Globally WHO has been informed of a total of 198 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 84 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 20 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (March 19), an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan affecting a man aged 78 reported by the Mainland health authority. He is now hospitalised for treatment. As of yesterday, a total of 385 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (90 cases), Jiangsu (43 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (21 cases), Hunan (19 cases), Anhui (10 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 20 March 2014)

 

Iraq: Poliomyelitis

Health officials have reported a case of poliomyelitis in the capital Baghdad of Iraq and it was the first reported case in the country in 14 years.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 March 2014)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (March 19) closely monitoring five 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 five patients are from the KSA's capital. Among them, two men aged 83 and 19 have underlying illnesses. The former became ill on February 24 and was hospitalised on March 1. He had no contact with animals or confirmed patients and is currently in critical condition. The latter had onset on March 1 and was hospitalised on March 7. He died shortly afterwards and he had exposure to animals, including camels. The remaining three patients are contacts of the above male patient aged 19. Among them, two women aged 22 and 18 developed mild illnesses respectively on March 10 and 14. The former is in stable condition while the latter has recovered. The other man aged 53 is asymptomatic. This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 196, including 83 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 19 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (March 18), two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong and Hunan reported by the Mainland health authorities. The case in Guangdong involves a man aged 73 while the case in Hunan involves a woman aged 75, both of whom are under treatment in hospital. As of yesterday, a total of 384 human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (90 cases), Jiangsu (43 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (21 cases), Hunan (18 cases), Anhui (10 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from
Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 19 March 2014)

 

Angola: Malaria

A total of 44 535 cases of malaria and 41 dead were reported in January and February 2014 in the Angolan province of Cabinda. From that number, 14 592 were children under 5 years and 16 543 adults living in the area, 400 km North from Luanda, Angola.
(Source: ProMED-mail 18 March 2014)

 

Cook Islands: Zika Virus Infection

The Zika virus outbreak has reached the Cook Islands. This is the first time that Zika virus infection is reported in the country. As of 13 March 2014, there are 188 cases with symptoms including 19 confirmed cases.

[Editor’s Note: Zika virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes causing milder symptoms. It is not spread directly from person-to-person. Like dengue fever infection, the symptoms include fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis and pain in small joints of the hands and feet.]

(Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 17 March 2014)

 

Netherlands: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of low pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza was identified on a poultry farm in Gelderland, Netherlands on 12 March 2014 and 10,541 affected birds were destroyed.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 14 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (March 16) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Shenzhen from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province. As of yesterday, a total of 382 human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (89 cases), Jiangsu (43 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (21 cases), Hunan (17 cases), Anhui (10 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 17 March 2014)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

WHO has been informed of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Globally WHO has been informed of a total of 191 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 82 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 17 March 2014)

 

Cameroon: Poliomyelitis

Three additional wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases have been confirmed in Cameroon.

(Source: World Health Organization 17 March 2014)

 

Pakistan: Leishmaniasis

Over 1000 Leishmaniasis cases were reported in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.  

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 March 2014)

 

Cambodia: Avian Influenza, human

According to the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, one additional fatal human case of H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed. The case was a 2-year-old girl from Kampot province. 

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 March 2014)

 

Ethiopia: Measles

During 24 February to 2 March 2014, 601 suspected measles cases were reported in Ethiopia.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (March 14) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Shenzhen from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province. As of yesterday, a total of 381 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (88 cases), Jiangsu (43 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (21 cases), Hunan (17 cases), Anhui (10 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

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

 

 

Last revision date: 24 March 2014