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Travel Health News Digest (25 February 2014 - 3 March 2014

Take precautions against dengue fever when travelling abroad

Dengue fever is an endemic disease in most Southeast Asian countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Travellers visiting these places are advised to protect themselves against mosquitoes all year round.

The recent dengue fever activity in Asia has been more severe. Various popular tourist attractions among Hong Kong people including Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia, observed recent persistent increase in the number of dengue fever cases. Other neighbouring Asian countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan and India, also recorded rising dengue fever activities.

Outbreaks of dengue fever were observed in Guangdong province in China, Brazil, Costa Rica, Columbia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic in the recent year.. It was expected that dengue fever activities will continue to rise in coming months in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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, 12 February 2014

China
  Guangdong province


2,895


Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 14 February 2014

India

70, 767

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 28 December 2013

Taiwan

899

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 3 March 2014

Vietnam

66,140

World Health Organization, 12 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

182

World Health Organization, 12 February 2014

Brazil

18,580

World Health Organization, 18 February 2014

Lao PDR

67

World Health Organization, 12 February 2014

Malaysia

2,985

World Health Organization, 12 February 2014

Mexico

6,311

World Health Organization, 18 February 2014

New Caledonia

21

World Health Organization, 12 February 2014

Philippines

3,549

World Health Organization, 12 February 2014

Singapore

2,875

Singapore National Environment Agency, 28 February 2014

Sri Lanka

4,899

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 28 February 2014

Thailand

2,227

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 25 February 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 long-sleeved clothing 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;
* 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) yesterday (March 1) received notification of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. As of yesterday, a total of 370 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (81 cases), Jiangsu (42 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (17 cases), Anhui (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two 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 2 March 2014)

 

Taiwan: Hantavirus Infection

In Kaohsiung of Taiwan reported the 1st confirmed case of Hantavirus infection in 2014.

(Source: ProMED-mail 1 March 2014)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (March 1) 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 patient is a man aged 22 from eastern KSA. He became ill on February 3 and was hospitalised on February 9, and died on February 12. The other case is a man aged 67 from the KSA's capital. He became ill on January 23 and was hospitalised on January 25. Both patients had underlying illness but no reported history of contact with animals or confirmed patients.

This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 184, including 80 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 1 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (February 28) received notification of two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Zhejiang from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. As of yesterday, a total of 369 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (81 cases), Jiangsu (42 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (16 cases), Anhui (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two 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 1 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (February 27), three additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan (two cases) and Jiangsu (one case) according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities.The cases in Hunan involve two men aged 41 and 77, while the case in Jiangsu is a man aged 42. They are currently hospitalised for treatment. As of yesterday, a total of 367 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (136 cases), Guangdong (81 cases), Jiangsu (42 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (16 cases), Anhui (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two 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 28 February 2014)

 

Nepal: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza were reported in Nepal. A total of 570 birds were affected and were found dead.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 26 February 2014)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

Four outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza were reported in Vietnam. A total of 4953 birds were affected and 3403 were found dead.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 25 February 2014)

 

Kenya and Somalia: Poliomyelitis [Update]

In 2013, 192 cases of Poliomyelitis were reported from Somalia, 14 cases were reported from Kenya and 9 cases were reported from the Somali Region of Ethiopia.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 13 February 2014)

 

French Polynesia: Zika Virus Infection [Update]

The outbreak of Zika fever in the islands of French Polynesia continues. As of 7 February 2014, 396 laboratory confirmed cases and 8,262 suspected cases have been reported.

[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: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 13 February 2014)

 

New Caledonia: Zika Virus Infection [Update]

As of 10 February 2014, 64 cases of Zika virus infection have been laboratory confirmed in New Caledonia. Thirty of the 64 cases occurred in people with a travel history to French Polynesia, where an outbreak of Zika fever is ongoing.

[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: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 13 February 2014)

 

Japan: Tick-borne Disease

A tick-borne systemic infectious disease causing severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome was noted in 13 prefectures in Kyushu, Shikoku and Chugoku regions of Japan. A total of 48 cases were reported until the end of 2013.

(Source: National Institute of Infectious Diseases 1 February 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (February 26), two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) respectively in Guangzhou and Zhejiang according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities. As of yesterday, a total of 364 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (136 cases), Guangdong (81 cases), Jiangsu (41 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (14 cases), Anhui (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two 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 27 February 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (February 25) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Foshan from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province. As of yesterday, a total of 362 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (135 cases), Guangdong (80 cases), Jiangsu (41 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (14 cases), Anhui (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two 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 26 February 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human 

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (February 24) received notification of four additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangzhou (three cases) and Foshan (one case) from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province. As of yesterday, a total of 361 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (135 cases), Guangdong (79 cases), Jiangsu (41 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (14 cases), Anhui (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

Additionally, the CHP received notification of an additional human case of avian influenza A (H5) in Hunan from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. 

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 25 February 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 3 March 2014