Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (4 May 2009)

Advice for Travellers Planning to Visit Swine Influenza Affected Areas

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 have been reported in some areas of the world. Please visit this website for the updated list of affected areas:
Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine influenza 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.
Advice for Travellers
Strict adherence to personal and environmental hygiene is essential for prevention of swine influenza. Travellers should watch out for the latest developments in swine influenza in planning travel, and consider postponing any trips to the affected areas. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has strongly advised residents to avoid all non-essential travel to human swine-flu affected areas, particularly Mexico. If travel to such places is unavoidable, the traveller should prepare adequate face masks and alcohol-based hand cleaners and take the following precautionary measures:
  • Put on a mask during the trip;
  • Avoid contact with sick people;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth;
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or apply alcohol-based hand cleaners;
  • When symptoms of respiratory tract infection and fever develop, seek medical advice promptly; and
  • After returning from an affected area, wear a surgical mask for 7 days and pay close attention to his/her health.
Use of Anti-viral Drugs
According to interim testing result performed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, this new swine influenza virus is sensitive to 2 antiviral drugs, namely Oseltamivir and Zanamivir. You should consult your doctor before taking the anti-viral drugs.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 30 April 2009)


Worldwide: Influenza A (H1N1), human

As of 4 May, 2009, 21 countries have officially reported 1 085 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) infection. Mexico has reported 590 laboratory confirmed cases, including 25 deaths. The United States has announced 286 confirmed infection with one death.
The following countries has announced laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (101), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Costa Rica (1), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), El Salvador (2), France (4), Germany (8), Ireland (1), Israel (4), Italy (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (6), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (1), Spain (54), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (18).
(Source: World Health Organization 4 May 2009)


Worldwide: Dengue Fever

In South America, a total of 234 106 cases of Dengue Fever with 74 deaths were reported up to 16 April this year. About 36% of the deaths were reported in Bolivia, followed by 34% in Brazil.
In Malaysia, 16 684 cases of Dengue Fever with 40 deaths were recorded up to 18 April this year.
In Makkah of Saudi Arabia, 44 cases of Dengue Fever were recorded during the last 17 weeks.
(Source: ProMED-mail 28 April 2009)


Worldwide: Cholera

Southern Africa has reported a total of 155 692 cases of Cholera, including 96 718 cases in Zimbabwe, the worst affected country.
Somalia has reported at least 20 deaths of cholera with 11 children died in the Bakool region.
Kenya has reported a total of 1931 cases with 55 deaths.
Malaysia has reported a total of 50 people of suspected cholera. One patient is confirmed with cholera.
Indonesia has reported a total of 255 cases with 2 deaths in the West Nusa Tenggara.
(Source: ProMED-mail 29 April 2009)


Thailand: Chikungunya Fever

In Songkhla, Thailand, 6 379 cases of Chikungunya Fever were reported during the period from 1 Jan to 27 April this year.
(Source: ProMED-mail 29 April 2009)


Brazil: Yellow Fever

In Brazil, the Ministry of Health reported a total of 43 cases of Yellow Fever cases with 16 deaths during the period from November 2008 to April 2009 in Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo status.
(Source: ProMED-mail 4 May 2009)



Last revision date: 10 October 2012