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Travel Health News Digest (2 July 2013 - 8 July 2013)

Russia: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever [Update]

A fatal case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever has been reported in Volgograd region of Russia while 21 cases were registered among the residents of Stavropol region.

(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2013)


Italy: Hepatitis A

Since January 2013, an increase in hepatitis A cases has been detected in northern Italy. A total number of 352 cases were reported between January and the end of May 2013.

(Source: Eurosurveillance 4 July 2013)


Asia: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease [Update]

Regional Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease activity is starting to increase. Japan, Macau and Republic of Korea have reported more cases in 2013 than in 2012 for the same time period. The recent trend, following seasonal patterns, is showing gradual increase of cases in China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore.

(Source: World Health Organisation, Western Pacific Region Office 26 June 2013)


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [Update]

The Department of Health is closely monitoring two additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). According to the WHO, the new cases involved a 69-year-old man and a 66-year-old man. Both were admitted to hospital on 28 June and are currently in critical condition in the intensive care unit. In addition, the KSA health authority has announced two deaths in previously confirmed cases, involving a 63-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man.

This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 79, including 42 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 6 July 2013)


Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health verified with the National Health and Family Planning Commission on 5 July an additional lookback case of human infection of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Jiangsu affecting a 15-year-old boy. The patient became ill on 25 April and was hospitalised on the following day. He has recovered and was discharged on 2 May.

As of 5 July, a total of 132 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been laboratory confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (46 cases), Shanghai (33 cases), Jiangsu (28 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Fujian (five cases), Anhui (four cases), Henan (four cases), Shandong (two cases), Hunan (two cases) and Beijing (two cases).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 5 July 2013)


Global: Measles and Rubella

Due to upcoming cultural and sporting events that will be hosted by countries in the Americas, WHO recommends all travelers to and from the countries of the Americas to receive vaccination against measles and rubella.

(Source: World Health Organisation 1 July 2013)


Democratic Republic of the Congo: Cholera

More than 11 000 cholera cases with 257 deaths have been reported in Katanga province, Democratic Republic of the Congo since the beginning of 2013.

(Source: Promed Mail 3 July 2013)


Nepal: Avian Influenza, poultry

3 outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza were reported in Nepal. Of 1 675 susceptible birds, 410 were found dead and the remaining birds were destroyed.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 30 June 2013)


Cambodia: Avian Influenza, human

A 6-year-old girl from Cambodia's southwestern Kampot province has died of Avian Influenza H5N1, bringing the death toll to 9 and the number of cases to 13 so far in 2013.

(Source: ProMED-mail 2 July 2013)


Philippines: Chikungunya Fever

An outbreak of Chikungunya Fever was detected in 2 villages in Tampakan town in South Cotabato province, Philippines with 180 suspected cases recorded as of 2 July 2013.

(Source: ProMED-mail 2 July 2013)


India: Japanese Encephalitis

Since January 2013, 53 have died due to encephalitis and 362 others have suffered from acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Assam, India. Another 24 positive cases of Japanese Encephalitis were detected during the period.

(Source: ProMED-mail 28 June 2013)


Bulgaria: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

Two cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever  (CCHF) were reported in Bulgaria.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 June 2013)


Global: Measles

Germany has reported more than 300 cases of measles infection since the beginning of 2013. The worse affected have been Berlin and Bavaria.

Measles incidence in the United Kingdom continued at elevated levels during the early months of 2013.

A total of 45 new cases of measles were registered between 17 and 23 Jun 2013 in Uige, Angola.

A total of 356 measles cases with 4 deaths have been recorded since the beginning of January 2013 in the Isiro Health Area of Orientale province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In Pakistan, as many as 43 measles cases have been reported in Sindh province in the month of June

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 June2013)


Egypt: Red Travel Alert

In late June 2013, demonstrations and violent clashes occurred in various parts of the country, including Cairo, Port Said and Alexandria, resulting in casualties. In view of continuing demonstrations and developments, residents intending to visit the country should adjust their travel plans and avoid non-essential travel. Those already there should monitor the situation, attend to personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people. Residents should pay particular attention to the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. For more information, please visit the OTA webpage.

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


Kosovo region: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

Kosovo is experiencing a cyclical outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever  (CCHF), which is endemic to this area. National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo has recently reported 5 fatal cases of CCHF in the Malisheva/Malishevo, Rahovec/Orahovac and Gjakova/Gjakovica municipalities.

(Source: ProMED-mail 2 July 2013)


Take precautions against dengue fever when travelling abroad

Dengue fever is an endemic disease in most Southeast Asian countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Travellers visiting these places are advised to protect themselves against mosquitoes all year round.

The recent dengue fever activity in Asia has been more severe than that of last year. Various popular tourist attractions among Hong Kong people including Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia, observed recent persistent increase in the number of dengue fever cases. Other neighbouring Asian countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan and India, also recorded rising dengue fever activities.

Outbreaks of dengue fever were observed in Brazil, Costa Rica, Columbia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic in the first quarter this year. Peru detected its first local dengue fever case. It was expected that dengue fever activities will continue to rise in coming months in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Travellers planning to travel in these areas should take precautions against the disease.

Cumulative reported number of dengue cases in 2013 *


Cumulative reported no. of cases in 2013

Source of information and
date of report

  Central & South


World Health Organization, 21 June 2013



Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, 28 June 2013



World Health Organization, 26 June 2013



ProMED-mail, 24 June 2013
ProMED-mail, 24 June 2013

  East Jakarta


ProMED-mail 1 July 2013



World Health Organization, 26 June 2013



World Health Organization, 26 June 2013



ProMED-mail 1 July 2013

New Caledonia


World Health Organization, 26 June 2013



ProMED-mail, 24 June 2013



World Health Organization, 26 June 2013



Singapore National Environment Agency, 28 June 2013

Solomon Island


World Health Organization, 26 June 2013

Sri Lanka


ProMED-mail 1 July 2013



CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 25 June 2013

  Northeastern region


ProMED-mail, 24 June 2013
ProMED-mail, 24 June 2013



World Health Organization, 26 June 2013

* Dengue reporting systems vary by country.

Travellers should stay vigilant against dengue fever and adopt the following personal preventive measures against mosquito bite:

* Always wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers;
* Stay in air-conditioned residence or places with mosquito screens;
* If mosquito screen or air-conditioning is absent, aerosol insecticide and bednets are advised;
* Use insect repellents containing DEET on exposed skin and clothing;
* Use insect repellents containing DEET apart from applying sunscreen while staying in beaches;
* Carry a portable bednets and apply permethrin on it as well as to clothes if travelling to rural areas where dengue fever is prevalent.

Travellers returning from areas where dengue fever is prevalent should seek medical advice as soon as possible if they feel unwell and provide travel details to their doctors.



Last revision date: 8 July 2013