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Travel Health News Digest (15 February 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 7 February 2010, worldwide more than 212 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 15292 deaths.
In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, overall pandemic influenza activity continued to decline in most countries. The most active areas of transmission continue to be in later peaking areas, particularly northern Africa, South Asia, and East Asia.

In North Africa, pandemic influenza transmission persists but substantial declines in activity have been observed over the past month across the region. In Morocco, levels of ILI have returned to near baseline, and in Egypt, the number of confirmed cases has declined considerably.

In South and Southeast Asia, overall activity continues to decrease or remain low in most places. In India the numbers of cases have declined substantially. In Thailand, overall activity remains low, however, focal areas of increased ILI activity were reported in central and northern Thailand.

In East Asia, overall activity has declined substantially in most places. In China, pandemic and seasonal influenza viruses continue to co-circulate. In Japan, influenza activity continues to decrease towards seasonal baselines, including in Okinawa which is experiencing greater levels of influenza activity than in other parts of the country. In S. Korea, levels of ILI have decreased substantially to near baseline levels.

In Europe, although pandemic influenza virus continues to circulate widely, particularly across central, southern, and eastern Europe, the overall intensity of pandemic influenza activity has declined substantially from peaks of activity seen earlier during the winter transmission period.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, pandemic influenza virus transmission may be geographically localized in most countries and the overall intensity of activity may be low.

In the Americas, both in the tropical and northern temperate zones, overall pandemic influenza activity continued to decline or remain low in most places. In Central America and Caribbean, pandemic influenza virus transmission persists but overall activity remains low or unchanged in most places.

In 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 12 February 2010)

 

Indonesia: Avian Influenza, human

In Indonesia, one confirmed human cases of H5N1 Avian Influenza were reported in Bekasi and Jakarta respectively. The 25-year-old victim from Bekasi died on 25 January this year while the 3-year-old victim from Jakarta had recovered. In addition, another suspected human case was reported in Lampung where dead chickens were tested positive for avian flu virus.

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 February 2010)

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

Egypt announced three new human cases of H5N1 Avian Influenza. The victims were a 40-year-old female from Banha District in Daqahliya Governorate, a 29-year-old female from Elsadat District, Menofya Governorate and a 37-year-old male from Helwan District, Helwan Governorate. They were admitted to hospitals. Two of them were in a critical condition and the other one was stable. So far, a total of 97 cases with 27 deaths had been reported in Egypt.

(Source: World Health Organization 8 and 10 February 2010)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Vietnam, outbreaks of H5N1 Avian Influenza among poultries were reported in several provinces including Ha Tinh, Ca Mau, Quang Tri, Kon Tum, Soc Trang, Nghe An, Nam Dinh

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 13 February 2010)

 

Honduras: Dengue Fever

Honduras had recorded 1406 cases of Dengue Fever for the first 4 weeks of January 2010, which represents an increase of 57 percent when compared to the same period of 2009.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 February 2010)

 

Colombia: Dengue fever

Colombia had reported a total of 11 179 cases of Dengue Fever with 30 deaths so far this year. In the southwestern Colombian city of Cali, 718 suspected cases of Dengue Fever attended the city's medical centres between January and February. Four children and an adult were claimed by the infection. Local authorities had declared a health emergency.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 & 16 February 2010)

 

USA: Mumps

In the United States, an outbreak of Mumps affecting 1 521 people was reported in New York and New Jersy. The outbreak started in June last year affecting mainly the Jewish community.

(Source: ProMED-mail 11 February 2010)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012