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Travel Health News(3 March 2015 - 9 March 2015)

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

India

36,486

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 31 December 2014

Vietnam

31,848

World Health Organization, 10 February 2015


Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2015 *

 

Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2015

Source of information and date of report

Australia

244

World Health Organization, 24 February 2015

Brazil

67,006

World Health Organization, 24 February 2015

Cambodia

174

World Health Organization, 24 February 2015

Guangdong

Taiwan

6

125

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 15 February 2015
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 6 March 2015

Japan

30

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 3 March 2015

Lao PDR

53

World Health Organization, 24 February 2015

Malaysia

18,351

World Health Organization, 24 February 2015

Mexico

5,655

World Health Organization, 24 February 2015

Philippines

3,575

World Health Organization, 24 February 2015

Singapore

1,779

Singapore National Environment Agency,5 March 2015

Sri Lanka

9,576

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka,4 March 2015

Thailand

3,745

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 5 March 2015

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.

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

The ministry of health of Egypt reported on 7 March 2015 the deaths of 2 women infected with the H5N1 avian influenza. The women were from the governorates of Menufia and Sharqiya

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 March 2015)

 

Brazil: Malaria

In the past 3 weeks, 14 malaria cases have been reported in Rio de Janeiro state of Brazil, according to the Health Ministry. The affected persons had travelled to dense Atlantic Forest areas in the interior of Rio state.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 March 2015)

 

Bosnia/Herzegovina: Measles

Between January 2014 and the beginning of February 2015, the Federal Institute of Public Health in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has reported 3,804 measles cases.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 March 2015)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (March 7) closely monitoring two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong (GD) notified by the Health and Family Planning Commission of GD Province (GDHFPC), and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel. Apart from avoiding visits to live poultry markets during travel, the DH reminded the public not to bring any game, meat or poultry into Hong Kong without official health certificate issued by the food authority of the place of origin and / or without prior written permission granted by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, which may be an offence under the Imported Game, Meat and Poultry Regulations (Cap 132AK). An offender shall be liable on conviction to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 7 March 2015)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

The Ministry of Health of Vietnam announced on 4 March 2015 an outbreak of avian influenza A(H5N1) in a farm in the Mekong delta province of Soc Trang and 1,100 affected chicken were destroyed.

(Source: ProMED-mail 6 March 2015)

 

Europe: Measles

Between 1 January 2014 and 1 March 2015, WHO received notification of over 23,000 cases of measles in the WHO European Region. The most affected country is Kyrgyzstan with over 7,000 cases reported in just the first seven weeks of 2015. Significant numbers of measles cases have also been reported in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Serbia. WHO encourages Member States to scale up vaccination against measles across age groups at risk.

(Source: World Health Organization 6 March 2015)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (March 6) closely monitoring an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) on the Mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel. According to the Health and Family Planning Commission of Anhui Province, a male patient aged 79 with poultry exposure before onset was hospitalised for management in critical condition.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 6 March 2015)

 

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

The Department of Health (DH) is today (March 6) closely monitoring 10 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 6 March 2015)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 3,248 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,147 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 6 March 2015)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 11,517 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 3,576 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 6 March 2015)

 

USA: Measles [Update]

From 1 January to 27 February, 2015, 170 people from 17 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles. Most of these cases were part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

(Source: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 2 March 2015)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (March 5) closely monitoring two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) on the Mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel. According to the Health and Family Planning Commission of Anhui Province, two male patients aged 50 and 68 respectively with poultry exposure before onset, were hospitalised for management in serious condition.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 5 March 2015)

 

Germany: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of low pathogenic H5N7 avian influenza was reported in a turkey farm in Lower Saxony of Germany.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 March 2015)

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

The Health Ministry of Egypt announced on 2 March 2015 the death of a 33-year-old woman in Cairo of H5N1 avian influenza. Two additional cases have been reported from Sharqiya and Beheira.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 March 2015)

 

Hungary: Avian Influenza, poultry

On 2 March 2015, a suspected outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza was reported in a poultry farm in Fuzesgyarmat of Hungary and a total of 100,000 ducks were culled.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 March 2015)

 

Malawi: Cholera

Over a period of 2 weeks, the Ministry of Health of Malawi has confirmed 39 cases of cholera, including 2 deaths.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 March 2015)

 

Nigeria: Cholera

An outbreak of cholera has been reported from Ebonyi State and 6 deaths have been confirmed. Moreover, 95 suspected cholera cases and 8 deaths were recorded from 6 states, mostly from Anambra State, Kebbi State and Lagos State of Nigeria.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 March 2015)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 3,237 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,141 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 March 2015)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 9,249 including 4,117 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 March 2015)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 11,497 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 3,565 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 March 2015)

 

Worldwide: Poliomyelitis [Update]

In order to prevent further international exportation of polio, WHO recommends, among others, countries currently exporting wild poliovirus, i.e. Pakistan, Syrian Arab Republic (until 17 March), Equatorial Guinea (until 4 April) and Cameroon(until 11 March), to ensure all residents and long-term visitors (of over 4 weeks) to receive a dose of polio vaccine between 4 weeks to 12 months prior to international travel. For those undertaking urgent travel (within 4 weeks) who have not received a dose of polio vaccine in the previous 4 weeks to 12 months, receive a dose of polio vaccine at least by the time of departure as this will provide benefit, particularly for frequent travellers. Travellers are provided with an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis to record their polio vaccination and serve as proof of vaccination.

WHO also encourages residents and long-term visitors (of over 4 weeks) of those infected countries which are not exporting wild poliovirus, i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq(until 19 May), Ethiopia(until 16 March), Israel (until 28 April), Somalia and Nigeria, to have polio vaccination 4 weeks to 12 months prior to international travel. For those undertaking urgent travel (within 4 weeks) should be encouraged to receive a dose at least by the time of departure. Travellers who receive such vaccination have access to an appropriate document to record their polio vaccination status.

(Source: World Health Organization 27 February 2015)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (March 3) closely monitoring an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong notified by the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province (GDHFPC), and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel. According to the GDHFPC, the female patient aged 36 in Chaozhou was hospitalised for management in critical condition.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 3 March 2015)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 3,205 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,127 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 2 March 2015)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 11,443 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 3,530 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 2 March 2015)

 

 

Last revision date: 9 March 2015