Travel Health News Digest (1 June 2009)
Advice for Travellers Planning to Visit Human Swine Influenza Affected Areas
Human Swine Influenza (Influenza A / H1N1)
The World Health Organization has declared the recent human swine influenza (swine flu) situation a public health emergency of international concern. Confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported and are affecting many parts of the world. Please visit this website for the updated list of affected areas:
Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine flu outbreak. The symptoms of swine flu include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some may present with runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Strict adherence to personal and environmental hygiene is essential for prevention of swine flu. Department of Health reminds travellers to watch out for the latest developments in the swine flu outbreak when planning travel. If travel to areas affected by swine flu is unavoidable, travellers should prepare adequate face masks and alcohol-based handrub and take the following precautionary measures:
- Wear a mask during travel;
- Avoid contact with sick people;
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth;
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or apply alcohol-based handrub;
- If signs or symptoms of influenza appear, seek medical advice promptly and provide details of your recent travel.
The Government of the HKSAR requires each arriving passenger to complete a Health Declaration Form and return it to designated collection points. Travellers returning from affected areas by swine flu should wear a mask for 7 days and pay close attention to your health
Use of Anti-viral Drugs
According to interim testing result performed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, human swine influenza virus is sensitive to two antiviral drugs, namely Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza). You should consult your doctor before taking these anti-viral drugs.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 22 May 2009)
Advice for Inbound Travellers/Returnees on Prevention of Human Swine Influenza
The World Health Organization has declared the recent human swine influenza situation a public health emergency of international concern. Confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 (swine flu) have been reported and are affecting many parts of the world. It is important to visit this website for the updated list of affected areas:
Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine flu outbreak. The symptoms of swine influenza include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some may present with runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government appeals to all inbound travellers/returnees to Hong Kong , especially students returning for the summer from affected areas, to observe the following:
- While overseas, exercise good personal hygiene, e.g. observe hand hygiene and cough manners. Those in affected areas should especially:
- pay attention to announcements from the local government
- follow local public health guidelines, including any movement restrictions and preventive recommendations
- put on a mask during your stay
- do not have contact with sick people
- Postpone your trip if you develop symptoms such as fever, cough and sore throat. Wear a mask and seek medical attention immediately for your own safety and health of travel collaterals.
- If you develop symptoms while on board, put on a mask and notify the crew right away. The crew will in turn follow established procedures and alert ground control. Port health team will board the flight to assess and follow up on landing.
- Upon landing, accurately and honestly complete the health declaration form; or present yourself to the port health post stationed at all border crossings if you have a health concern.
After arrival from an affected area, pay close attention to their health and wear a mask for 7 days after arrival. You should seek medical consultation from public clinics or hospitals and contact the Department of Health hotline 2125 1111 immediately if fever or influenza-like symptoms appear.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 15 May 2009 )
Worldwide: Influenza A (H1N1), human
As of 1 June, 2009, 62 countries have officially reported 17 410 cases of Influenza A (H1N1)
infection, including 115 deaths. Mexico
has reported 5 029 laboratory confirmed cases, including 97 deaths. The United States
has announced 8 975 confirmed infection with 15 deaths. Canada
has reported 1 336 confirmed infection with 2 deaths. Costa Rica
has reported 37 confirmed infection with one death.
The following countries has announced laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Argentina(100), Australia(297), Austria(1), Bahamas(1), Bahrain(1), Belgium(12), Bolivia(3), Brazil(18), Chile(250), China(52), Colombia(20), Cuba(4), Cyprus(1), Czech Republic(1) Denmark(1), Dominican Republic(2), Ecuador(39), El Salvador(27), Estonia(1), Finland(3), France(24), Germany(28), Greece(4), Guatemala(12), Honduras(2), Hungary(1), Iceland(1), India(1), Ireland(4),
Israel(19), Italy(29), Jamaica(2), Japan(370), Kuwait(18), Malaysia(2), Netherlands(3), New Zealand(9), Norway(4), Panama(107), Paraguay(5), Peru(36), Philippines(16), Poland(4), Portugal(1), Romania(3), Russia(3), Singapore(5), Slovakia(2), Republic of Korea(33), Spain(178), Sweden(4), Switzerland(8), Thailand(2), Turkey(4), United Kingdom(229), Uruguay(11), Venezuela(2) and Vietnam(1).
(Source: World Health Organization 1 June 2009)
Egypt: Avian Influenza, human
The Ministry of Health of Egypt
reported three new confirmed human cases of Avian Influenza
, raising the total number of human cases to 77. The first two cases were reported in Sharkiya Governorate. Both victims are four years of age and have contacted sick poultry before falling ill. Both were hospitalized and their condition was stable. The third victim was a 14-month-old girl from Cairo. She started to have symptoms on 25 May and was hospitalized on 29 May.
(Source: ProMED-mail 27 & 31 May 2009)
Mongolia: Avian Influenza, poultry
In Arkhangai Aimag of Mongolia
, H5N1 Avian Influenza
virus had been detected in dead swans.
(Source: ProMED-mail 27 May 2009)
Brazil: Dengue Fever
As of May 2009, 68 959 cases of Dengue Fever
were reported in Bahia municipalities of Brazil
. This number is 173 per cent higher than registered cases for the same period last year. In total, 51 people have died.
(Source: ProMED-mail 25 May 2009)
Vietnam: Dengue Fever
At present, more than 16 600 cases of Dengue Fever
have been reported nationwide in Viet Nam
in 2009, including 3 600 cases and 4 deaths in Ho Chi Minh City.
(Source: ProMED-mail 25 May 2009)
Thailand: Chikungunya Fever
(Source: ProMED-mail 31 May 2009)
, 22 276 cases of Chikungunya Fever
were reported in the country in the first 5 months of this year. The seriously affected provinces included Songkhla, Narathiwat and Pattani.
United Kingdom: Measles
In United Kingdom
, 207 Measles
cases were reported in Wales.
(Source: ProMED-mail 27 May 2009)