Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (6 September 2010)

Philippines: Black Travel Alert

Following the hostage taking incident in the Philippines which had caused casualties, the Hong Kong SAR Government has raised the Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for the Philippines to Black. Hong Kong residents are urged to avoid all travel to the Philippines. Those already there should attend to their personal safety and stay alert.

For more information, please visit the OTA webpage.

(Source: Security Bureau, Government of Hong Kong SAR 23 August 2010)


New Zealand: Earthquake

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurred at the west of Christchurch, New Zealand on 2 September, and there are still regular aftershocks. A state of emergency is currently in place. The airport remains open. Extensive damage to underground sewerage and water systems has the potential to cause major public health risks. Therefore, travellers to the affected areas should be alert for possible health hazards and personal safety, and take the following precautionary measures to prevent waterborne diseases. In addition, travellers should avoid contact with sewage, and do not swim, fish or gather selfish in the sea or rivers. Travellers should also practice good personal and food hygiene, including frequent handwashing; and seek medical advice if feeling unwell.

(Source: Ministry of Health, New Zealand & Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 6 September 2010)


Russian Federation: Wildfires [Update]

As of 3 September, the exceptional situation of a severe heat-wave and air pollution due to wildfires in many regions of the Russian Federation has been declared over. The WHO confirmed that the weather and environmental situation have returned to normal and the current situation does not pose any health risk to the resident population or visitors.

(Source: World Health Organization 3 September 2010)


Indonesia: Volcanic eruption [Update]

Mount Sinabung on the north of Sumatra island of Indonesia erupted again on 3 September and this eruption was three times stronger than the initial one recorded on 29 August, pitching hot ash 3 km (2 miles) into the air. About 30 000 people had been evacuated from mainly farming villages, with many crowding into refugee camps in nearby towns.

(Source: Reuters Alertnet 3 September 2010)


Pakistan: Flooding and Cholera [Update]

As of 27 August, Pakistan reported at least 1 370 cases of Cholera in Hangu due to torrential rains in the area. Most of the patients were children, women and elderly people. On the other hand, more than 60 000 flood victims of Southern Punjab and Sindh had been treated, and 15 000 of them had severe diarrhea.

Travellers to the affected areas should be on the alert for possible health hazards and take the following precautionary measures to prevent waterborne diseases.

(Source: ProMED-mail 31 August 2010)


Indonesia: Rabies, human [Update]

Indonesia has reported 93 fatal cases of human Rabies in Bali. On an average day, 165 people are bitten by dogs in Bali. So far this year there have been a total of 37 901 dog-bite incidents in Bali. This figure shows a dramatic increase as only 21 806 dog bites were reported in 2009.

(Source: ProMED-mail 6 September 2010)

(Editor's notes: Travellers should avoid contact with animals. Immunisation (both pre-exposure and post-exposure), combined with thorough wound cleaning, is the most reliable methods of preventing rabies. Travellers visiting Bali with prolonged stay or anticipated contact with animals should seek medical consultation for pre-travel health advice and pre-exposure rabies vaccination if indicated.)


Europe: West Nile Virus Infection

West Nile Virus Infection is now reporting in several European countries. There were 173 confirmed cases including 15 deaths in Central Macedonia, Greece, 1 probable case in Portugal in July, 231 cases in Russia in July and August, 7 confirmed cases with 2 deaths in Romania and 3 cases in Hungary.

(Source: National Travel Health Network and Centre, UK 3 September 2010)


Mainland (Anhui): Cholera

On 28 August 2010, local health officials reported an outbreak of Cholera, suspected to be caused by contaminated food, sickened 30 people in Mengcheng County of Anhui Province, Mainland over 2 weeks.

(Source: ProMED-mail 31 August 2010)


India: Dengue Fever

In India, 800 cases of Dengue Fever with 5 deaths have been reported in the capital of Delhi so far this year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 August 2010)


Philippines: Dengue Fever

In the Philippines, 54 659 cases of Dengue Fever and 429 deaths have been reported in the country so far this year. This figures represented a sharp increase as only 31 248 cases of dengue fever and 327 deaths were reported in the same period last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 August 2010)


India: Japanese Encephalitis

In India, 231 fatal cases of Japanese Encephalitis have been reported in Uttar Pradesh State so far this year. The neighbouring Bihar State was also affected.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 September 2010)



Last revision date: 10 October 2012