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Travel Health News Digest (13 July 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 human swine influenza (swine flu) outbreak a global pandemic. Confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported in many parts of the world, including Hong Kong.

Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine flu outbreak. The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle pain and headache. Some people infected with swine flu may also have vomiting and diarrhoea.

Advice
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. Travellers should prepare adequate face masks and alcohol-based handrub and take the following precautionary measures:
  • During the trip: maintain good personal hygiene, wash hands or use handrub frequently and avoid contact with sick people.
  • Before returning: do not get on board an airplane when influenza-like symptoms develop. Put on a mask and seek medical attention where you are.
  • After returning: avoid going to crowded places and pay close attention to your health. Seek medical consultation from public clinics or hospitals right away if influenza-like symptoms appear.

The Government of the HKSAR requires each arriving passenger to complete a Health Declaration Form and return it to designated collection points.

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 June 2009)

 

Advice for Inbound Travellers/Returnees to Hong Kong on Prevention of Human Swine Influenza (Influenza A/H1N1)

The World Health Organization has declared the human swine influenza (swine flu) outbreak a global pandemic. Confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported in many parts of the world, including Hong Kong.

Human-to-human transmission has occurred in the present swine flu outbreak. The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle pain and headache. Some people infected with swine flu may also have vomiting and diarrhoea.

Advice
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government appeals to all inbound travellers/returnees to Hong Kong to observe the following:
  • While overseas, exercise good personal hygiene, e.g. observe hand hygiene and cough manners, and -
    • pay attention to announcements from the local government
    • follow local public health guidelines, including any movement restrictions and preventive recommendations
    • avoid contact with sick people
  • Before returning, do not get on board an airplane when influenza-like symptoms develop. Put on a mask and seek medical attention where you are.
  • 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 airplane 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 returning, avoid going to crowded places and pay close attention to your health. Seek medical consultation from public clinics or hospitals right away if influenza-like symptoms appear.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 25 June 2009)

 

Hong Kong: Typhoid Fever

In view of the increased number of cases of Typhoid Fever involving people coming from Indonesia in recent months, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of Hong Kong urged travellers to Indonesia to observe good personal hygiene to prevent typhoid fever.

The number of typhoid cases reported to the CHP in April, May and June of this year were 3, 8 and 12 respectively. Four cases had been reported so far this month. Twenty one of them had stayed in Indonesia, of which 15 were staying in Surabaya. All of them required hospitalisation and were in stable condition.

Typhoid fever was endemic in Hong Kong and the number of cases reported in 2006, 2007 and 2008 were 46, 46 and 38 respectively. A total of 38 cases had been reported so far this year.
(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 7 July 2009)

 

United Kingdom: Measles

In United Kingdom, 99 cases of Measles were reported in England so far this year and more than 100 suspected cases were under investigation.
(Source: ProMED-mail 10 July 2009)

 

Mainland: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

As of 5 July 2009, 85 301 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease with 44 deaths were reported in Shandong Province of the Mainland.
(Source: ProMED-mail 10 July 2009)

 

Philippines: Dengue Fever

As of 20 June this year, 381 cases of Dengue Fever with 11 deaths were reported in Cebu of the Philippines.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2009)

 

Cambodia: Dengue Fever

In Cambodia, more than 3 333 children were treated for Dengue Fever so far this year. Out of which, 10 of them died.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2009)

 

Vietnam: Dengue Fever

In Vietnam, 27 000 cases of Dengue Fever with 26 deaths were reported in the country in the first half of this year. The seriously affected areas included Hochiminh City, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Ben Tre and Dong Nai.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2009)

 

Taiwan: Dengue Fever

In Taiwan, 90 imported cases of Dengue Fever were reported so far this year.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2009)

 

Malaysia: Dengue Fever

In Malaysia, 24 534 cases of Dengue Fever with 62 deaths were reported in the country so far this year. The areas with sharp rises in cases were Perlis, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Penang and Kedah.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2009)

 

Brazil: Dengue Fever

In Brazil, 29 977 cases of Dengue Fever were reported in Mato Grosso state so far this year. This represented a 3-fold increase as compared with the same period last year.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2009)

 

India: Meningococcal Meningitis

In India, more than 2 000 cases of Meningococcal Meningitis with 127 deaths were reported in Meghalaya so far this year.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2009)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012