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Travel Health News Digest (24 August 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)

 

Bhutan: Dengue Fever

In Bhutan, 32 suspected cases of Dengue Fever were reported in Phuentsholing so far this year.
(Source : ProMED-mail 17 August 2009)

 

Guatemala: Dengue Fever

In Guatemala, an outbreak of Dengue Fever affecting 115 people with 10 deaths due to Dengue Heamorrhagic Fever was reported in Izabal.
(Source: ProMED-mail 17 August 2009)

 

Nigeria: Cholera

A Cholera outbreak has claimed 39 lives in northern Nigeria's Adamawa state in the past week.
(Source: ProMED-mail 19 August 2009)

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Cholera

In Democratic Republic of Congo, 87 suspected cases of Cholera have been reported in less than 2 weeks. No death was reported. The city of Goma is deficient in running water. Many households directly consume water taken from the lake.
(Source: ProMED-mail 19 August 2009)

 

Ethiopia: Cholera

In Ethiopia, over 1 700 cases of Cholera and 28 deaths were reported in the West Arsi zone.
(Source: ProMED-mail 19 August 2009)

 

Angola: Cholera

In Angola, 5 people out of 16 patients died of Cholera from July 2009 in Bocoio district of central Benguela province.
(Source: ProMED-mail 19 August 2009)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012