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Travel Health News(17 March 2015 - 23 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 01/01/2015 *

 

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

Source of information and date of report

Australia

478

World Health Organization, 10 March 2015

Brazil

103,616

World Health Organization, 10 March 2015

Cambodia

174

World Health Organization, 10 March 2015

Guangdong

Taiwan

16

145

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 13 March 2015
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 23 March 2015

India

1,938

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 28 Februray 2015

Japan

35

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 17 March 2015

Lao PDR

79

World Health Organization, 10 March 2015

Malaysia

23,966

World Health Organization, 10 March 2015

Mexico

6,982

World Health Organization, 10 March 2015

Philippines

3,575

World Health Organization, 10 March 2015

Singapore

2,013

Singapore National Environment Agency,20 March 2015

Sri Lanka

10,851

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka,20 March 2015

Thailand

4,886

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 18 March 2015

Vietnam

5,263

World Health Organization, 10 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.

 

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

The Department of Health (DH) is today (March 21) closely monitoring 15 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 21 March 2015)

 

Sudan: Measles

As of 15 March 2015, about 1,800 suspected measles cases, including 803 confirmed fatal cases have been recorded in 12 states in Sudan. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the majority of deaths were reported in North, West, and East Darfur.

(Source: ProMED-mail 21 March 2015)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 3,404 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,241 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 20 March 2015)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 9,555 including 4,283 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 20 March 2015)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 11,794 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 3,712 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 20 March 2015)

 

Singapore: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

The Singapore Ministry of Health reported that there were 609 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease reported last week and almost twice the number of cases compared to the same period last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 20 March 2015)

 

Sweden: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of low pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus infection was reported in Stockholm, Sweden affecting mute swans.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 20 March 2015)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of high pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza virus infection was reported in a village in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 19 March 2015)

 

India: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of high pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus infection was reported in a village in Uttar Pradesh, India.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 18 March 2015)

 

USA: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of high pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza virus infection was reported in a turkey farm in California, USA.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 17 March 2015)

 

Brazil: Q fever

Brazil reported the first case of Q fever affecting 16 workers in Barbosa.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 March 2015)

 

Nigeria: Lassa Fever

As of 8 March 2015, Nigeria reported 21 cases of Lassa fever including 1 death.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 March 2015)

 

Worldwide: Influenza 

 The influenza activity in a number of overseas areas in the northern hemisphere has peaked and has been decreasing while that of the others remain elevated, with A(H3N2) virus predominating so far. Regarding neighbouring areas, the influenza season in Taiwan and Macau persisted. In Taiwan, the percentage positive for influenza viruses stood at a high level of 29.1 per cent in the last week of February.

In Europe, following a consistently high proportion of influenza virus detections of 50 per cent or higher in sentinel specimens since the week ending 25 January, it decreased to 41 per cent in the week ending 8 March, which is however still over the threshold of 10 per cent.

In Japan, the average number of reported ILI cases per sentinel site has been decreasing. The percentage positive for influenza viruses in the United States, Canada and England has also been decreasing.

The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 18 March 2015)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 3,389 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,224 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 March 2015)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 9,526 including 4,264 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 March 2015)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 11,751 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 3,691 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 March 2015)

 

Nigeria: Meningococcal Meningitis

Between 26 January and 5 March 2015, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control of the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria notified World Health Organization of 652 suspected cases of meningococcal meningitis, including 50 deaths. Cases have been reported in 10 local government areas of 2 states, Kebbi and Sokoto.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 March 2015)

 

United Kingdom: Scarlet Fever

There have been 27 notifications of scarlet fever in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom in the first 6 weeks of 2015, compared with 6 during the same period of 2014.

(Source: ProMED-mail 16 March 2015)

 

Spain: Legionnaires' Disease

The Valencia Department of Health of Spain has recorded a new case of legionellosis in Benidorm.

(Source: ProMED-mail 16 March 2015)

 

Peru: Leptospirosis

Healthcare authorities reported that 2 teenagers from Santa province of Peru died after acquiring leptospirosis.

(Source: ProMED-mail 15 March 2015)

 

 

Last revision date: 23 March 2015