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Travel Health News(19 May 2015 - 25 May 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

831

World Health Organization, 5 May 2015

Brazil

745,957

World Health Organization, 15 May 2015

Cambodia

342

World Health Organization, 5 May 2015

Guangdong

Taiwan

26

194

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 14 May 2015
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 22 May 2015

India

3,061

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 29 April 2015

Japan

80

National National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 19 May 2015

Lao PDR

202

World Health Organization, 5 May 2015

Malaysia

38,517

World Health Organization, 5 May 2015

Mexico

21,532

World Health Organization, 15 May 2015

Philippines

19,946

World Health Organization, 5 May 2015

Singapore

3,086

Singapore National Environment Agency, 21 May 2015

Sri Lanka

14,012

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 21 May 2015

Thailand

11,699

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 20 May 2015

Vietnam

9,727

World Health Organization, 5 May 2015

Remark:
* Dengue reporting systems vary by country.

CHP alert on rising dengue activity in Taiwan

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (May 20) again urged the public to stay vigilant and maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures during travel as the number of cases of dengue fever (DF) in Taiwan is on the rise.

"We have been closely monitoring the latest DF situation in neighbouring and overseas areas and noted an increase in dengue activity in Taiwan, particularly in southern areas," a spokesman for the CHP said.

According to the health authority of Taiwan, 190 DF cases (including two deaths) have been recorded to date in 2015, comprising 108 local and 82 imported cases. Among the local cases, the majority (101 cases, 94 per cent) resided in Kaohsiung, while 18 were reported in Taipei, 15 in New Taipei and 10 in Taichung.

Of note, six additional local and two imported DF dengue cases were confirmed within one week from May 12 to 18, including a cluster of five locals in the community who all visited the same market in Nanzih, Kaoshiung, upon epidemiological investigations into their local movements.

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.

 

South Korea: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (May 21) closely monitoring an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in addition to the first two cases reported by Korea, and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel. According to the health authority of Korea, the case involves a male patient aged 76 who developed fever and was subsequently laboratory-confirmed. He was admitted to the same hospital room as the index male patient aged 68. Contact tracing by the health authority of Korea is ongoing.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 21 May 2015)

 

South Korea: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (May 21) closely monitoring the first two cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported by Korea, and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

According to the health authority of Korea, the two patients are a couple. The male patient aged 68 visited Bahrain from April 18 to May 3 and returned to Korea via Qatar on May 4. He developed fever and cough on May 11 and was hospitalised on May 12 in stable condition. His wife who did not travel with him but had taken care of him developed mild respiratory symptom and was also laboratory-confirmed.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 21 May 2015)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 3,635 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,407 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 20 May 2015)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 12,632 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 3,907 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 20 May 2015)

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

According to the World Health Organization, from November 2014 through April 2015, 165 H5N1 avian influenza cases including 48 deaths were reported in Egypt.

(Source: ProMED-mail 20 May 2015)

 

Turkey: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been detected in Turkey. A farm with a susceptible population of 170,000 birds had 137 deaths from the disease. The rest of the birds on the farm have been destroyed as a containment measure.

(Source: ProMED-mail 20 May 2015)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

A new outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza was reported in Vinh Long province of Vietnam. The outbreak occurred in a susceptible population of 300 village birds, 200 of which died; another 100 were slaughtered to prevent the spread of the disease.

(Source: ProMED-mail 20 May 2015)

 

Brazil: Zika Virus Infection

The Ministry of Health announced on 15 May 2015 that Zika virus is circulating in Brazil and 16 people have been tested positive for the infection.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 May 2015)

 

Vietnam: Rabies

Thai Nguyen health authorities in Vietnam have reported an increase in rabies infection after many people were bitten by stray dogs. 4 people have died due to rabies so far this year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 May 2015)

 

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

The Department of Health is closely monitoring five additional cases, including one death, of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 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 18 May 2015)

 

United Arab Emirates: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

On 13 May 2015, the United Arab Emirates notified WHO of 1 additional fatal case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 May 2015)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 3,626 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,405 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 May 2015)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 12,593 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 3,906 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 May 2015)

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Measles

About 100 children have died of measles since January 2015 in Pweto, Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 May 2015)

 

Niger: Meningococcal meningitis [Update]

Between 1 January and 12 May 2015, the Ministry of Public Health of Niger notified WHO of 6,179 suspected cases of meningococcal meningitis, including 423 deaths. Suspected cases have been increasing very quickly, tripling over the last two weeks.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 May 2015)

 

 

Last revision date: 22 May 2015