Travel Health Service Year 2019

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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 01/01/2018 *

 

Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2018

Source of information and date of report

Australia

824

World Health Organization, 3 January 2019

Brazil

247,393

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Cambodia

9,885

World Health Organization, 3 January 2019

Guangdong, China

3,316

Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, 15 January 2019

India

89,974

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 25 November 2018

Lao PDR

6,204

World Health Organization, 3 January 2019

Macao, China

5”

Health Bureau of Macau, 6 November 2018

Malaysia

80,615

World Health Organization, 3 January 2019

Mexico

78,621

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Philippines

199,271

World Health Organization, 3 January 2019

Vietnam

113,850

World Health Organization, 3 January 2019

Remarks:
* Dengue reporting systems vary by country/area.
“ Locally-acquired
# Cumulative cases since 2 January 2017.

Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2019 *

 

Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2019

Source of information and date of report

Japan

3^

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 15 January 2019

Singapore

600@

Singapore National Environment Agency, 17 January 2019

Sri Lanka

2,351

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 17 January 2019

Taiwan, China

0”

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 17 January 2019

Thailand

715

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 15 January 2019

* Dengue reporting systems vary by country/area.
@Cumulative cases since 30 December 2018.
^ Cumulative cases since 31 December 2018.
“ Locally-acquired



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.


Southeast Asia: Dengue Fever [Update]

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health reported the latest number of cases of dengue fever (DF), and again urged the public to maintain strict environmental hygiene, mosquito control and personal protective measures both locally and during travel.

From January 11 to 17, the CHP recorded five imported DF cases. The patients had been to Thailand (two cases), Indonesia (one case), Maldives (one case) and the Philippines (one case) during the incubation period.

As of January 17, 11 cases had been confirmed this year, all of which were imported cases. The cases were mainly imported from Malaysia (two), Maldives (two), the Philippines (two) and Thailand (two).

DF remains endemic in some areas of Asia and beyond. In Guangdong, there were 3,316 cases in 2018. The latest figures for 2019 revealed that 715 cases had been recorded in Thailand, 600 cases in Singapore (since December 30, 2018) and three in Japan.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 18 January 2019)

 

Japan: Influenza

In Japan, influenza season started in early December, and its activity continued to increase. With an average of 38.5 patients treated at each medical institution in the second week of 2019 (7 – 13 Jan 2019), the number of people affected by influenza was estimated to be around 1.63 million.

[Editor Note: In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, influenza activity continued to increase slowly. In East Asia, influenza season appeared to have started, with predominantly influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 detected. In Europe, influenza activity increased, with both A viruses circulating. For more information of global influenza activity, please refer to “Flu Express ” issued by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP).

Influenza can cause serious illnesses in high-risk individuals and even healthy persons. Given that seasonal influenza vaccines are safe and effective, CHP recommends all persons aged 6 months or above except those with known contraindications to receive influenza vaccine for personal protection.

Influenza vaccine does not work right away. It takes about two weeks after influenza vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. For prevention against influenza, vaccinated individuals should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene practices, balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate rest and no smoking.]

(Source: Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 18 Jan 2019)

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ebola Virus Disease [Update]

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues. The number of cases has reached 668 and the total number of deaths is 410.

(Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy 17 January 2019)

 

Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is closely monitoring five additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between December 1 and 31 last year. The CHP again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of the health risks in the places they visit.

According to the WHO, among the four male patients and one female patient, aged 45 to 80, all had underlying illnesses, three had consumed camel milk and one had contact with previously confirmed patients.

According to the latest information, 2,279 cases have been reported to the WHO (with 806 deaths), including 2,060 in 10 Middle East countries comprising 1,901 in the KSA, 87 in the United Arab Emirates, 28 in Jordan, 19 in Qatar, 11 in Oman, six in Iran, four in Kuwait, two in Lebanon, and one each in Yemen and Bahrain.

(Source: Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health 17 January 2019)

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ebola Virus Disease [Update]

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues. The number of cases has reached 658 and the total number of deaths is 402.

(Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy 15 January 2019)

 

Ukraine: Measles [Update]

Ukraine continues to report measles at high levels. From 28 Dec 2018 to 11 Jan 2019, 5,059 cases have been reported across the country, including 2 deaths.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 15 January 2019)

 

Palau: Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreak has been reported in Palau. A total of 57 cases have been reported since December 1 2018.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 15 January 2019)