Travel Health News
Print
 

Travel Health News Digest (21 December 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.

(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR, 21 December 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, present yourself to the port health post staff stationed at all boundary control points 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, 21 December 2009)

 

Worldwide: Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 2009

As of 13 December 2009, worldwide more than 208 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 10582 deaths.

In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, transmission of pandemic influenza virus remains active and geographically widespread, however disease activity has peaked or passed its peak in many places, particularly North America. Influenza activity continues to increase in later affected areas of south-eastern and central Europe, and in central and south Asia.

In United States and Canada, active influenza transmission persists but overall levels of ILI have declined substantially to near seasonal baselines.

In Europe, geographically widespread and active transmission of pandemic influenza virus continued to be observed across the continent. At least 10 countries, mostly in western and northern Europe, reported declining respiratory disease activity. ILI/ARI activity continued to increase or reach a plateau in a limited number of countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Montenegro and Switzerland. A high intensity of respiratory disease activity was reported in parts of northern and south-eastern Europe and in parts of the Russian Federation.

In Western and Central Asia, influenza transmission remains active. ILI/ARI activity continues to increase in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and has peaked in some countries including in Afghanistan, Oman, and Israel. Influenza virus continues to circulate in Iran, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt.

In East Asia, influenza transmission remains active but appears to be declining overall. Influenza activity has recently peaked and begun to decline in Japan. ILI activity continued to decline but remained elevated in northern and southern China, Chinese Taipei and in Mongolia. In southern Asia, influenza activity continues to increase in the northern parts of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.

In the tropical region of Central and South America and the Caribbean, influenza transmission remains geographically widespread but overall disease activity has been declining.

Pandemic H1N1 2009 virus appears to be the predominant influenza virus circulating in northern and eastern Africa. In West Africa, a mixture of pandemic and seasonal influenza viruses have been detected.

In the temperate region of the southern hemisphere, sporadic cases of pandemic influenza are being reported without evidence of sustained community transmission.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 December 2009)

 

Australia: Dengue Fever

In Australia, Queensland health authorities announced that there had been 10 confirmed Dengue Fever cases in the latest outbreak which began in Townsville in early November. The authorities fear that there might be a bigger outbreak once the wet season begins.

(Source: ProMED-mail 15 December 2009)

 

Cambodia: Avian Influenza, human

Cambodia announced a confirmed human case of H5N1 Avian Influenza.  The 57-year-old male, from Kampong Cham Province developed symptoms on 11 December. The case was admitted to Hospital and in a stable condition.  The authority is conducting field investigations into the source of his infection.  Of the 9 cases confirmed to date in Cambodia, 7 have been fatal.

(Source: World Health Organization 11 December 2009)

 

United Kingdom: Mumps

The authority in United Kingdom is urging college and university students to protect themselves with 2 doses of the Mumps, Measles and Rubella (MMR) vaccination after a surge in the number of cases of Mumps in the country.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 December 2009)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Vietnam, outbreaks of H5N1 Avian Influenza killing hundreds of birds were reported in 2 farms in Thai Nguyen province.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 16 December 2009)

 

Zimbabwe: Measles

In Zimbabwe, there was an outbreak of Measles affecting more than 340 cases so far. The affected areas included the districts of Bubi, Murambinda, Makoni, Chipinge, Chirumanzu, Zvishavane and Marondera.  The reason of this outbreak was mainly because of local people who denied their children of vaccination.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 December 2009)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012