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Travel Health News Digest (4 January 2010)

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 27 December 2009, worldwide more than 208 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1, including at least 12 220 deaths.

The most active areas of pandemic influenza transmission currently are in central and eastern Europe. Focal increases in rates of Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) / Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) during recent weeks were reported in at least three eastern European countries, Georgia, Montenegro, and Ukraine.

A high intensity of respiratory diseases activity with concurrent circulation of pandemic influenza persists in parts of southern and eastern Europe, particularly in Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, and the Urals Region of the Russian Federation. In Western Europe, influenza transmission remains active and widespread, but overall disease activity has peaked.

Limited available data indicates that active, high intensity transmission is occurring in Northern African countries along the Mediterranean coast (Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt).

In Central Asia, influenza virus circulation remains active, but transmission may have recently peaked in some places. In West Asia, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Oman, and Afghanistan also appear to have passed their peak period of transmission within the past month.

In East Asia, influenza transmission remains active but appears to be declining overall. Influenza/ILI activity continued to decline in Japan, in northern and southern China, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong SAR (China). In southern Asia, influenza activity continues to be intense, particularly in northern India, Nepal, and, Sri Lanka.

In North America, influenza transmission remains widespread but has declined substantially in all countries.

In the tropical regions of Central and South America and the Caribbean, influenza transmission remains geographically widespread but overall disease activity has been declining or remains unchanged in most parts.

In the temperate regions of the southern hemisphere, sporadic cases of pandemic influenza continued to be reported without evidence of sustained community transmission.

(Source: World Health Organization 30 December 2009)

 

Cote d'Ivoire: Yellow Fever

A total of 21 people have died in an outbreak of Yellow Fever since the disease was detected in November 2009 in Cote d'Ivoire's northern province of Ordienne. A total of 37 suspected cases were also reported in the province.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 December 2009)

 

Cambodia: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Cambodia, an outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza which killed 143 birds was reported in a village in Kampong Cham Province. A total of 875 birds were culled.

(Source: World Organization for Animal Health 28 December 2009)

 

Mexico: Dengue Fever

In Mexico, about 55 000 confirmed cases and 105 000 probable cases of Dengue Fever were reported in the country so far this year. The southern states including Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche and Yucatan are on red alert. While in Jalisco, 4 697 cases of the disease were reported.

(Source: ProMED-mail 29 December 2009)

 

Indonesia: Chikungunya Fever

In Indonesia, over 12 000 people in Lampung province contracted Chikungunya Fever since mid December 2009. It was the highest recorded number in the last 10 years. Tulangbawang and Mesuji were reported as the worst hit regencies in the province so far.

(Source: Pro-MED mail 1 January 2010)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012