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 01/01/2020 *

Singapore

189@

Singapore National Environment Agency, 2 January 2020

@Cumulative cases since 29 December 2019.

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

1,378

World Health Organization, 19 December 2019

Brazil

2,120,142

World Health Organization, 2 January 2020

Guangdong, China

5,986

Health Commission of Guangdong Province, 13 December 2019

India

136,422

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 30 November 2019

Japan

451^

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 24 December 2019

Lao PDR

38,753

World Health Organization, 19 December 2019

Malaysia

124,777

World Health Organization, 19 December 2019

Mexico

257,953

World Health Organization, 2 January 2020

The Philippines

414,532

World Health Organization, 19 December 2019

Sri Lanka

100,212

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 2 January 2020

Taiwan, China

637

Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, 2 January 2020

Thailand

126,708

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 25 December 2019

Vietnam

241,863

World Health Organization, 19 December 2019

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



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.


Mainland China: Pneumonia [Update]

7 January 2020

According to WHO, Chinese authorities have ruled out a number of causes of the outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan. The pathogen is not Influenza, Avian Flu, Adenovirus, SARS or MERS. Investigations continues to identify the causes.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) received notification from the National Health Commission (NHC) on January 5 on the latest information of the cluster of pneumonia cases detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The public is again urged to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

According to information from the NHC, a total of 59 viral pneumonia cases with unknown cause were reported as at 8am today. No fatal cases have been recorded. All patients are receiving treatment in isolation.

Among the 59 cases, the earliest and most recent cases had onset of illness on December 12 and December 29 last year respectively. A total of 163 close contacts are under medical surveillance and none of them have developed abnormal symptoms such as fever. Contact tracing of close contacts is still ongoing. Epidemiological investigations revealed that some patients are business operators at a local seafood wholesale market in Wuhan. For the time being, the Mainland's investigation has not identified any evidence of definite human-to-human transmission and no healthcare workers have been infected. While the causative pathogen and cause of infection are still under investigation, respiratory pathogens including influenza viruses, avian influenza viruses, adenovirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have been ruled out.

According to the risk assessment of the World Health Organization, the reported link of this cluster of pneumonia of unknown aetiology to a wholesale fish and live animal market could indicate an exposure link to animals.

The CHP will continue to maintain close liaison with the NHC and closely monitor the latest development of cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan. In response to the cases, the Government launched the Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance and activated the Serious Response Level with immediate effect on January 4. Under the Serious Response Level, the immediate health impact caused by Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance on local population is moderate.

A dedicated webpage (https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/102465.html) has also been set up to provide relevant information and health advice. To address the public's concern, the CHP will announce the details of cases reported under enhanced surveillance (https://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/enhanced_sur_pneumonia_wuhan_eng.pdf) on the above webpage daily to enhance transparency.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 5 January 2020)

 

Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

7 January 2020

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported two new MERS-CoV cases, neither of whom had any contact with camels. One of the MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases involves a 48-year-old man from Medina who died from his illness.

WHO said there have been 2,484 confirmed cases from 2012 through the end of November 2019, at least 858 of them fatal. The vast majority are from Saudi Arabia.

For more information on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s thematic webpage: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/26511.html

 

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

7 January 2020

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues. The total number of cases has reached 3,386 and the total number of deaths is 2,233. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on 17 July 2019. For more information on Ebola virus disease, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s thematic webpage: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/34199.html

 

Argentina: Measles

7 January 2020

Argentina’s Ministry of Health has reported 97 cases of measles in 2019, the largest measles outbreak in the country since the elimination of the endemic circulation of the virus in 2016. The majority of cases have been reported in the City of Buenos Aires and the province of Buenos Aires. For more information on measles, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s thematic webpage: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/100419.html

(Source: Outbreak News Today 6 January 2020)

 

Brazil: Dengue fever

7 January 2020

The Bahia Department of Health (Sesab) reported 67,373 probable cases of dengue as of December 10, representing an increase of 622.6% over the same period of 2018, in which 9,323 probable cases were reported. In 2019, Brazil has reported some 2.1 million dengue cases this year, including 722 deaths.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 6 January 2020)

 

Mainland China: Pneumonia [Update]

6 January 2020

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 5) received notification from the National Health Commission (NHC) on the latest information of the cluster of pneumonia cases detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The public is again urged to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

According to information from the NHC, a total of 59 viral pneumonia cases with unknown cause were reported as at 8am today. No fatal cases have been recorded. All patients are receiving treatment in isolation.

Among the 59 cases, the earliest and most recent cases had onset of illness on December 12 and December 29 last year respectively. A total of 163 close contacts are under medical surveillance and none of them have developed abnormal symptoms such as fever. Contact tracing of close contacts is still ongoing. Epidemiological investigations revealed that some patients are business operators at a local seafood wholesale market in Wuhan. For the time being, the Mainland's investigation has not identified any evidence of definite human-to-human transmission and no healthcare workers have been infected. While the causative pathogen and cause of infection are still under investigation, respiratory pathogens including influenza viruses, avian influenza viruses, adenovirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have been ruled out.

According to the risk assessment of the World Health Organization, the reported link of this cluster of pneumonia of unknown aetiology to a wholesale fish and live animal market could indicate an exposure link to animals.

The CHP will continue to maintain close liaison with the NHC and closely monitor the latest development of cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan. In response to the cases, the Government yesterday (January 4) launched the Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance and activated the Serious Response Level with immediate effect. Under the Serious Response Level, the immediate health impact caused by Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance on local population is moderate.

A dedicated webpage (https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/102465.html) has also been set up to provide relevant information and health advice. To address the public's concern, the CHP will announce the details of cases reported under enhanced surveillance (https://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/enhanced_sur_pneumonia_wuhan_eng.pdf) on the above webpage daily to enhance transparency.

 

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

6 January 2020

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues. The total number of cases has reached 3,385 and the total number of deaths is 2,232. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on 17 July 2019. For more information on Ebola virus disease, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s thematic webpage: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/34199.html

 

The Philippines: Dengue fever [Update]

6 January 2020

The Philippines Department of Health has declared a National dengue fever alert on 6 August 2019. As of 30 November, 414,532 dengue cases, including 1,546 deaths have been recorded.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 3 January 2020)

 

Burundi: Malaria [Update]

6 January 2020

Burundi is showing progressive increase in cases of malaria in 2019, with 8,571,897 cases including 3,170 deaths recorded.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 5 January 2020)

 

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

3 January 2020

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues. The total number of cases has reached 3,382 and the total number of deaths is 2,232. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on 17 July 2019. For more information on Ebola virus disease, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s thematic webpage: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/34199.html

 

Mainland China: Pneumonia

2 January 2020

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is closely monitoring a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, Hubei Province, and has contacted the National Health Commission for further information.

According to an announcement from the Health Commission of Hubei Province, a number of pneumonia cases related to a local seafood market was recently reported in Wuhan. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has commenced investigation and so far identified 27 cases. Among them, seven cases were serious and the remaining were stable. Symptoms were mainly fever while a few had presented with shortness of breath. All patients are isolated and receiving treatment. Contact tracing of close contacts and medical surveillance are ongoing.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announced that assessment by relevant experts revealed that the cases were compatible with viral pneumonia. For the time being, no obvious human-to-human transmission has been observed and no healthcare workers have been infected. The causative pathogen and cause of infection are still under investigation.

 

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

2 January 2020

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues. The total number of cases has reached 3,377 and the total number of deaths is 2,232. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on 17 July 2019. For more information on Ebola virus disease, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s thematic webpage: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/34199.html

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Measles [Update]

2 January 2020

Measles activity in Democratic Republic of the Congo remains high. 299,586 cases have been reported in 2019, including 5,877 deaths. For more information on measles, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s thematic webpage: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/100419.html

(Source: Outbreak News Today 31 December 2019)

 

Sri Lanka: Dengue Fever [Update]

2 January 2020

Sri Lanka is seeing high activity of dengue fever, including capital Colombo. 99,120 cases have been recorded in 2019, including at least 90 deaths.

(Source: Outbreak News Today 31 December 2019)