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Travel Health News Digest (12 September 2011)

China: Rabies

Rabies killed 6 people in Shanghai of China in the first 8 months of this year, while only one person was infected by this deadly virus in the same period last year. Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention called on citizens to raise their awareness of the health risks resulting from dog bites on 8 September.

(Source: ProMED-mail 9 September 2011)

 

France: Botulism

Two clusters of Botulism were reported by French health authorities on 5 September 2011. There have been a total of eight cases of Botulism; five were from the district of Vaucluse in southern France, and three cases were reported from the district of Somme in northern France. A food product based on ground olives was suspected to be the common origin of the two clusters. Health authorities have ordered a national recall of all products made by the involved producer, and have informed public health authorities throughout Europe.

(Source: UK National Travel Health Network and Centre 8 September 2011)

[Editor's note: Foodborne Botulism is caused by ingestion of preformed toxins, which are produced by Clostrium botulinum, presented in the contaminated food. The features of the illness include marked fatique, weakness, blurred vision, dry mouth, difficulty in swallowing and speaking. Vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea may occur. Paralysis of breathing muscles can cause stopping of breathing and death.]

 

India: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Assam of India, there was an outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza on 29 August, killing more than 1 400 poultries.

(Source: World Organization for Animal Health 8 September 2011)

 

Italy: Legionnaires' Disease

There were 11 cases of travel related Legionnairesā€˜ Disease in travellers who had visited the town of Lazise, Italy. Cases had been reported in tourists from Austria, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands. The affected people had stayed at four separate locations in the Lazise area between 7 July and 31 August 2011.

(Source: UK National Travel Health Network and Centre 7 September 2011)

 

Zambia: Anthrax

In Zambia, suspected cases of human Anthrax in Chama District in Eastern Province have reached 278, with 5 deaths directly linked to the disease which had killed more than 90 hippopotamus in the district. The outbreak was suspected to have been caused by an infected hippopotamus in Luangwa River. All the patients had a history of having consumed or touched hippopotamus meat.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 September 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.

For more information, please visit the OTA webpage.

(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.

For more information, please visit the OTA webpage.

(Source: Security Bureau, Government of Hong Kong SAR 20 September 2010)

 

WHO FAQs: Japan Concerns

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization webpage.

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012