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Travel Health News Digest (3 October 2012)

USA: West Nile Virus Infection [Update]

As of 25 September 2012, a total of 3 545 cases of West Nile Virus Infection including 147 deaths had been reported in the USA.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 September 2012)

 

United Kingdom: Novel Coronavirus Infection [Update]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported human cases with novel coronavirus infection in two patients from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar. The total number of laboratory confirmed cases of novel coronavirus worldwide remains at two.

(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR 27 September 2012)

 

Prevention of a New Type of Coronavirus Infection

To protect against coronavirus infection, members of the public are advised to take the following preventive measures:

  • Build up good body immunity by having a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, and do not smoke;
  • Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene;
  • Keep hands clean and wash hands frequently with soap and water;
  • Rub hands with 70 - 80% alcohol-based handrub if they are not obviously soiled;
  • Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, and dispose of nasal and mouth discharge properly;
  • Do not touch eyes, nose and mouth with bare hands;
  • Wash hands after sneezing, coughing or cleaning the nose;
  • Maintain good ventilation;
  • Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation; and
  • Wear surgical mask and seek medical advice promptly if fever or symptoms of respiratory tract infection develop.

When planning to travel abroad and, in particular, visiting Middle East countries, please take note of the following :

Before departure: if feeling unwell, such as having fever, sore-throat, muscle pain or cough, do not travel. Postpone your trip until recovery.

While overseas: if feeling unwell, such as having fever or cough, put on a mask and inform hotel staff or your tour leader, and seek medical attention immediately.

After returning home: if falling sick, put on a mask, seek medical attention immediately, and inform the doctor of recent travel history.

For more information, please read the file.

(Source: Department of Health, HKSAR 26 September 2012)

 

Greece: Malaria

In Greece, 50 malaria cases had been reported this year and most occurred in the agricultural areas and the cities of Laconia region.

(Source: World Travel Watch 26 September 2012)

 

Balkans: West Nile Virus Infection

According to the health authorities in Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Croatia, dozens of people in these Balkan countries were infected with West Nile Virus and at least 5 people died of the infection.

 (Source: ProMED-mail 21 September 2012)

 

Spain: Legionnaires' disease [Update]

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease continued to affect Blanes, Spain. As of 21 September 2012, 14 people were affected with 4 hospitalized.

(Source: ProMED-mail 21 September 2012)

 

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 Nuclear Concerns

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

 

 

Last revision date: 10 October 2012