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Travel Health News Digest (1 July 2014 - 7 July 2014)

Take precautions against dengue fever when travelling abroad

Dengue fever is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. This includes various popular tourist destinations for Hong Kong people including the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

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

Cumulative reported number of dengue cases since 01/01/2014 *

 

Cumulative reported no.
of cases since 01/01/2014

Source of information and date of report

Australia

872

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Brazil

515,663

World Health Organization, 26 June 2014

Cambodia

482

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

11

209

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 13 June 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 7 July 2014

India

3,763

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 30 June 2014

Lao PDR

640

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Malaysia

33,456

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Mexico

29,522

World Health Organization, 26 June 2014

New Caledonia

286

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Philippines

21,690

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Singapore

9,337

Singapore National Environment Agency, 4 July 2014

Sri Lanka

19,052

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 7 July 2014

Thailand

10,707

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 2 July 2014

Vietnam

3,820

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Remark:
* 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 loose, light-coloured long-sleeved tops and trousers;
* Stay in air-conditioned residence or places with mosquito screens;
* If mosquito screen or air-conditioning is absent, aerosol insecticide and bed nets 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;
* Re-apply insect repellents according to instructions during the trip;
* Carry a portable bed nets 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.

 

Argentina: Hantavirus Infection

A fatal case of Hantavirus infection was reported in Jujuy province, Argentina, involving a 27-year-old woman.

(Source: ProMED-mail 6 July 2014)

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (July 5) closely monitoring three additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

According to the WHO, the patients include a boy aged 15, a male pharmacist aged 53 and a housewife aged 28. All the three patients were in stable condition and had no contact with previously confirmed patients or animals, and no history of consumption of camel products. In addition, a previously confirmed patient died.

To date, 827 laboratory confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 287 deaths.

Travellers, apart from avoiding contact with animals, especially camels (including riding camels or participating any activity involving contact with camels), or visits to farms, barns or markets with camels. Avoid consuming raw or uncooked animal products, including milk and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 5 July 2014)

 

South Sudan: Cholera [Update]

As of 2 July 2014, 2613 cases of Cholera including 63 deaths have been reported in South Sudan.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 July 2014)

 

Hungary: Anthrax

Six cases of Anthrax were reported in Eastern Hungary.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 July 2014)

 

Bolivia: Plague

An outbreak of Plague including a fatal case and another 3 suspected cases was reported in Bolivia.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 July 2014)

 

United Kingdom: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

A case of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever has been confirmed in the UK involving a traveller to Bulgaria.

(Source: National Travel Health Network and Centre 4 July 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 2 July 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 412 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 305 deaths. Cases have been reported from Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola, Djingaraye, Kouroussa, Boffa and Télimélé.

(Source: World Health Organization 3 July 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 2 July 2014, Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 252 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 101 deaths.  Cases have been reported from Kailahun, Kambia, Port Loko, Kenema and Western.

(Source: World Health Organization 3 July 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 2 July 2014, the total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 115 including 75 deaths. Cases have been reported from Lofa, Montserrado, Margibi and Nimba.

(Source: World Health Organization 3 July 2014)

 

Iran & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (July 3) closely monitoring additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

According to the WHO, the case in Iran is a 44-year-old male healthcare worker who had no contact with a laboratory-confirmed case of MERS but had close contact with a patient diagnosed with severe acute respiratory infection at the same hospital where he was working.

The three cases in KSA involve three men aged 46, 57 and 58 respectively, who had no contact with confirmed patients or animals. They did not perform Umrah or seek health care or consume camel products in the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.
 
To date, 824 laboratory confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 286 deaths.

Travellers, apart from avoiding contact with animals, especially camels (including riding camels or participating any activity involving contact with camels), or visits to farms, barns or markets with camels. Avoid consuming raw or uncooked animal products, including milk and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 3 July 2014)

 

Taiwan: Japanese Encephalitis

As of June 30 this year, a total of 6 cases of Japanese Encephalitis were recorded in Taiwan, including Tainan City (2 cases), 2, Changhua County (2 cases), Chiayi City (1 case) and Taichung City (1 case).

(Source: Centers for Disease Control, R.O.C. (Taiwan) 1 July 2014)

 

Philippines: Measles

About 40,000 cases of measles (31,508 suspected cases and 9,149 confirmed cases) and 70 measles deaths were reported in the Philippines from January 1 through May 20, 2014. Most cases are in people from Metropolitan Manila, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 30 June 2014)

 

Federated States of Micronesia: Measles

A measles outbreak is ongoing in the Federated States of Micronesia. Measles has been reported in two of the states: Kosrae and Pohnpei.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 27 June 2014)

 

Egypt: Malaria

19 locally transmitted malaria cases have been reported in one village in Aswan Governorate in Egypt. The Aswan governorate is along the southern part of the Nile River.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 26 June 2014)

 

Botswana: Malaria

North West district of Botswana has recorded an alarming number of 618 cases of malaria and 6 deaths during the past 6 months.

(Source: ProMED-mail 1 July 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 30 June 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 413 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 303 deaths. Cases have been reported from Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola, Djingaraye, Kouroussa, Boffa and Télimélé.

(Source: World Health Organization 1 July 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 30 June 2014, Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 239 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 99 deaths.  Cases have been reported from Kailahun, Kambia, Port Loko, Kenema and Western.

(Source: World Health Organization 1 July 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 30 June 2014, the total number of clinical Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 107 including 65 deaths. Cases have been reported from Lofa, Montserrado, Margibi and Nimba.

(Source: World Health Organization 1 July 2014)

 

Brazil: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

From January to May of 2014, 3 people in Piracicaba, Brazil died due to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In addition, 30 suspected cases have been reported.

(Source: ProMED-mail 30 June 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 7 July 2014