Travel Health News
Print
 

Travel Health News Digest (22 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 14 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 15921 deaths.

In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, active but declining pandemic influenza transmission persists in limited areas of eastern and southern Europe, South Asia, and in East Asia. Several countries in West Africa reported increases in the number of cases. An increasing trend in respiratory diseases activity was reported in Thailand and Jamaica

In Southeast Asia, several countries reported an increasing trend of respiratory diseases activity but overall intensity remained low. Thailand reported increased influenza-like illness in 24 provinces; however, the overall intensity of respiratory diseases activity nationally remains low. In Myanmar and Indonesia, localized geographic spread of influenza activity, an increasing trend of respiratory diseases, and low overall intensity was reported. In South Asia, influenza activity persists in the northern and western states of India, however, overall influenza activity continued to decline or remained low in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. In East Asia, transmission of pandemic influenza virus has been steadily declining in most countries of region (China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea), with the exception of DPR Korea, where an increasing trend of respiratory diseases activity was reported. In West Asia, the overall intensity of current activity remains low in the region.

In North Africa, substantial declines in activity of pandemic influenza transmission continue to be reported over the past month. In Sub-Saharan Africa, pandemic influenza virus transmission may be sporadic in most areas of the continent. No countries in West Africa are reporting an increasing trend in respiratory diseases activity.

In Europe, the overall intensity of activity remained low in most places; only Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovakia, the Republic of Moldova, and the Russian Federation reported a moderate intensity of respiratory diseases activity.

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, overall activity remains low or unchanged in most places. Jamaica reported an increasing trend of respiratory diseases activity but the overall intensity remains low.

(Source: World Health Organization 19 February 2010)

 

Thailand: Rabies

In Bangkok of Thailand, an owner of a pet shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market died from Rabies on 14 February 2010. The victim was bitten by a 3-year-old Rottweiler. The dog later died followed by another eight pets at the victim’s house. So far this year of 2010, 6 people have died from Rabies, as compared with 24 in 2009 and 9 in 2008.

(Source: ProMED-mail 22 February 2010)

(Editor's notes: Travellers should avoid stray animals, including dogs, cats, monkeys. Immunization (both pre-exposure and post-exposure), combined with thorough wound cleaning, is the most reliable methods of preventing rabies.)

 

Egypt: Avian Influenza, human

The Ministry of Health of Egypt announced two new cases of human H5N1 Avian Influenza infection. The first case was a 32-year-old male from Ashmon district in Menofya Governorate. He developed symptoms on 6 February and was in a stable condition. The second case was a 29-year-old pregnant female from Elsadat District, Menofya Governorate. She developed symptoms on 6 February and died on 13 February. Both cases had exposure to sick and dead poultry. Of the 99 confirmed cases of the disease reported in Egypt, 30 were fatal.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 February 2010)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

Vietnam reported that Avian Influenza has recurred in Nam Dinh and Soc Trang provinces with flocks of ducks testing positive for H5N1.

(Source: ProMED-mail 20 February 2010)

 

India: Hepatitis E

In India, more than 160 human cases of Hepatitis E were reported in the Himachal Pradesh capital state Shimla since mid-January. The outbreak was caused by consumption of contaminated water of sewerage.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 February 2010)

 

Africa: Cholera

In Angola, from 12 to 18 February, 7 cases of Cholera, of which 2 resulted in deaths, were recorded at the district hospital of Bocoio, northeast of the city of Benguela. The consumption of non-treated water and poor basic sanitation in the region are the main causes of the outbreak.

In Zimbabwe, there were 9 fatal cases of Cholera in the southern district of Mwenezi and another 8 cases of the disease were under treatment. The outbreak appeared to be spreading to neighbouring regions.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 February 2010)

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012