Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (13 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 [Update]

In New Zealand, Christchurch is rapidly returning to normal after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurred on 4 September. To ensure public safety, a state of emergency will remain until 15 September. 98% of tourism operators in Christchurch are open and operating. The airport is open and operating normally, and bus and rail services are operating largely as usual.

Travellers to the affected areas should be alert for possible health hazards and personal safety. To prevent waterborne diseases, 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 12 September 2010)


Pakistan: Flooding [Update]

In Pakistan, over 60 000 flood survivors in eastern Balochistan suffered from epidemics, particularly gastroenteritis and Malaria after consumption of contaminated floodwaters. The Health Department reported that 30 medical camps were set up in flood-hit areas, 30 000 patients with diarrhea had been examined and over 12 853 flood victim children suffering from diarrhea and gastroenteritis had been vaccinated so far. As of 10 September, the catastrophic flooding has killed 1 760 people and left 10 million people without shelter nationwide.

Travellers to the affected areas should be on the alert for possible health hazards and take the following precautionary measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, as well as waterborne diseases.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 September 2010 & Agence France-Presse 10 September 2010)


Mainland: Cholera [Update]

In the Mainland, an outbreak of Cholera affecting 38 people was reported in Mengcheng county of Anhui province.

In addition, as of 9 September, a total of 19 cases have been detected at a school in Huaian city of Jiangsu province, prompting health authorities to issue a warning for the region and urge increased disease monitoring.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 and 10 September 2010)


India: Dengue Fever [Update]

Delhi, India is currently experiencing the most significant outbreak of Dengue Fever recorded in recent years. There have been over 1 836 cases with 4 deaths reported so far in Dehli. Local hospitals are overloaded with dengue patients, and some hospitals are running out of medicines and intravenous fluids. The Municipal Corporation of Dehli expects the number of dengue cases this year will cross the 2006 figure of 3 366 cases. The Corporation has also found a high density of mosquito breeding in the south and central areas of the city.

Travellers to India should take the precautionary measures against mosquito bite by wearing long sleeved clothing and trousers, applying insect repellents containing DEET on the exposed parts of the body, and using mosquito screens or nets in rooms which are not air-conditioned.

(Source: ProMED-mail 15 September 2010)


India: Malaria

In India, a sharp rise in Malaria cases was noted in Rajasthan where more than 1 000 cases were reported last week.

(Source: ProMED-mail 12 September 2010)


Taiwan: Dengue Fever [Update]

Taiwan reported 25 more cases of Dengue Fever, bringing the total number of cases to 80 since March 2010. All the new cases were reported from southern Taiwan.

(Source: ProMED-mail 13 September 2010)


USA: Pertussis [Update]

As of 7 September, 3 834 cases of Pertussis have been reported in California of USA. The number of the cases is a 7-fold increase over the same period last year when 530 cases were reported. Among 8 infant deaths reported, 7 were under 2 months old at time of disease onset and had not received any doses of pertussis-containing vaccine. Unimmunised or incompletely immunised young infants are particularly vulnerable.

(Source: California Department of Public Health, USA 7 September 2010)


Namibia: Rift Valley Fever, human

In Namibia, at least 3 suspected human cases of Rift Valley Fever have been reported, and they are livestock farmers.

(Source: ProMED-mail 6 September 2010)


Bangladesh: Anthrax [Update]

In Bangladesh, the outbreak of Anthrax continued to affect the country with more than 400 people being infected.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 September 2010)


Central Africa: Poliomyelitis

In Angola, the outbreak of Poliomyelitis which began in April 2007, has this year spread to re-infect previously polio-free areas in Angola (the provinces of Bie, Bengo, Huambo, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Uige), as well as to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, re-infecting Kasai Occidental province which borders Angola. The risk of international spread of the disease is very high.

(Source: World Health Organization 8 September 2010)



Last revision date: 10 October 2012