Travel Health Service Year 2019

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Current Travel Health News

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 between 01/01/2018 and 31/12/2018 *

 

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

Source of information and date of report

Brazil

247,393

World Health Organization, 31 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

Macao, China

5”

Health Bureau of Macau, 6 November 2018

Philippines

211,571

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Vietnam

113,850

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Remarks:
* Dengue reporting systems vary by country/area.
” Locally-acquired

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

Australia

12

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Cambodia

142

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Japan

22^

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 29 January 2019

Lao PDR

96

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Malaysia

2,587

World Health Organization, 17 January 2019

Mexico

1,599

World Health Organization, 31 January 2019

Singapore

1,015@

Singapore National Environment Agency, 31 January 2019

Sri Lanka

5,021

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 31 January 2019

Taiwan, China

0”

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 31 January 2019

Thailand

2,834

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 29 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.


Madagascar: Measles [Update]

Since the onset of the outbreak on 4 October 2018 to 25 January 2019, a total of 33,969 measles cases have been reported in Madagascar, of which 569 were laboratory-confirmed and 33,400 epidemiologically linked.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 4 February 2019)

 

State of Washington, USA: Measles [Update]

Since the identification of an outbreak in January 2019, USA Washington State recorded 47 confirmed cases of measles. In view of the outbreak, Washington State Government declared state of emergency on 25 January 2019.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 3 February 2019)

 

Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) recorded 20 cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome since the beginning of 2019.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 3 February 2019)

 

Australia: Measles [Update]

In an outbreak of measles in New South Wales, Australia since 2018 Christmas, 12 cases have reported to date.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 2 February 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 763 and the total number of deaths is 471.

 

Japan: Influenza [Update]

In Japan, influenza season started in early December, and its activity continued to increase. As of the fourth week of 2019 (21 – 27 January 2019), the number of people affected by influenza was estimated to be around 2.22 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.]

 

Southeast Asia: Dengue Fever [Update]

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health on February 1 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 25 to 31, the CHP recorded two imported DF cases. The patients had been to Indonesia and Maldives respectively during the incubation period.

As of January 31, 14 cases had been confirmed this year, all of which were imported cases. The cases were mainly imported from Indonesia (three), Maldives (three), Malaysia (two), the Philippines (two) and Thailand (two).

DF remains endemic in some areas of Asia and beyond. The latest figures for 2019 revealed that 2 834 cases had been recorded in Thailand, 1 015 cases in Singapore (since December 30, 2018) and 22 in Japan.

 

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 759 and the total number of deaths is 468.

 

Ukraine: Measles [Update]

Ukraine continues to report measles at high levels. From 28 Dec 2018 to 25 Jan 2019, 11,757 cases have been reported across the country, including 6 deaths.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 31 January 2019)

 

State of Washington, USA: Measles [Update]

Since the identification of an outbreak in January 2019, USA Washington State recorded 41 confirmed cases of measles. In view of the outbreak, Washington State Government declared state of emergency on 25 January 2019.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 31 January 2019)

 

Argentina: Hantavirus Infection [Update]

29 cases of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome were reported between 28 October 2018 and 20 January 2019 in southern Argentina, including 11 deaths.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 31 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 752 and the total number of deaths is 465.

 

State of Washington, USA: Measles [Update]

Since the identification of an outbreak in January 2019, USA Washington State recorded 38 confirmed cases of measles. In view of the outbreak, Washington State Government declared state of emergency on 25 January 2019.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 30 January 2019)

 

State of New York, USA: Measles [Update]

USA New York State continues to report measles cases. Rockland County has reached 128 cases since September 2018, while Brooklyn has reached 64 cases since October 2018.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 30 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 743 and the total number of deaths is 461.

 

Thailand: Chikungunya fever [Update]

Thailand health officials reported continuous Chikungunya fever outbreak activity in southern provinces since last year. As of 28 January, 1,075 cases were reported this year.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 28 January 2019)