Travel Health News Digest (4 July 2011)
Germany: Enterohemorrhagic E. coli infection
WHO reported that, as of 30 June 2011, 3 241 cases of Enterohemorrhagic E. coli
infection and 896 cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a total of 4 137 cases have been reported in 16 countries. There were 3 999 cases reported in Germany
alone, with 48 deaths. However, the number of reported cases has declined significantly since week 23 (June 6 -12, 2011). The majority of these cases had recently visited northern Germany. German authorities stated that mounting epidemiological and food-chain evidence indicated that bean and seed sprouts are the vehicle of the outbreak in Germany. The authorities now recommend that people in Germany should not eat raw bean and seed sprouts of any origin.
WHO recommends normal hygiene measures should be observed, hand washing after toilet use and before touching food. (Please refer to the websites of Travel Health Service and Centre for Health Protection for information on hygiene measures
and hand washing
respectively.) Anyone who has developed bloody diarrhoea and abdominal pain, and who has had contact recently with Germany, should seek medical advice urgently.
(Source: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe 1 July 2011)
WHO FAQs: Japan Concerns
France: Enterohemorrhagic E. coli infection
As of 30 June 2011, 8 cases of bloody diarrhoea and 8 cases of hemolytic uraemic syndrome were reported in the Bordeaux area of France
. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli
O104:H4 has been confirmed and the organism has similar characteristics to the strain identified in the German outbreak.
(Source: National Travel Health Network and Centre, UK 2 July 2011)
USA reported an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts. As of 27 Jun 2011, a total of 21 cases have been reported in 5 states: Idaho (3), Montana (7), North Dakota (1), New Jersey (1), and Washington (9). Illnesses began between 12 Apr 2011 and 7 Jun 2011. Three persons have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.
(Source: ProMED-mail 29 June 2011)
reported 344 623 cases of Cholera
and 5 397 related deaths since the beginning of the outbreak in October 2010. There was a rise in the number of cholera cases reported in May and early June 2011. A total of 18 182 new cases were notified in Port-au-Prince alone..
(Source: ProMED-mail 2 July 2011)
Republic of the Congo: Chikungunya
Republic of the Congo
reported an epidemic of Chikungunya
which began in early June in the capital Brazzaville, has spread to its neighbouring Pool region. Between 1-23 June, there were 7 014 cases in Brazzaville and 460 in Pool with no deaths reported.
(Source: ProMED-mail 2 July 2011)
Syria: Black Travel Alert
As widespread violent clashes occurred in many cities across Syria, including Daraa, Latakia, Damascus, Baniyas, Aleppo, Homs and Hama, resulting in serious casualties, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has raised the Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for Syria to Black. Residents are urged to avoid all travel to the country. Those already there should attend to their personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people.
(Source: Security Bureau, Government of Hong Kong SAR 26 April 2011)
Philippines: Black Travel Alert
Following the hostage taking incident in the Philippines which had caused casualties, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 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.
(Source: Security Bureau, Government of Hong Kong SAR 20 September 2010)