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Travel Health News Digest (3 June 2014 - 9 June 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

450,091

World Health Organization, 5 June 2014

Cambodia

482

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

5

102

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 14 May 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 9 June 2014

India

1,768

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

Lao PDR

640

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Malaysia

33,456

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Mexico

22,526

World Health Organization, 5 June 2014

New Caledonia

286

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Philippines

21,690

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Singapore

6,834

Singapore National Environment Agency, 6 June 2014

Sri Lanka

12,322

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 6 June 2014

Thailand

7,473

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 3 June 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.

 

Vietnam: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease  

Since the beginning of 2014, there have been more than 24700 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease identified nationwide in Vietnam and around 1900 children were hospitalized last week.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 June 2014)

 

Brazil: Pertussis

As of 30 May 2014, 31 cases and 3 deaths of pertussis had been confirmed in Sorocaba of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 June 2014)

 

Israel: Brucellosis

An outbreak of brucellosis was noted in the Western Galilee of Israel and about 30 patients were affected during the last 2 weeks.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 June 2014)

 

USA and Canada: Salmonella Infection

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford infections linked to organic sprouted chia powder was reported in USA and Canada. As of 2 June 2014, a total of 17 persons from 10 states were affected. Two ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.Public Health Agency of Canada has identified 29 cases from 4 states.

(Source: Public Health Agency of Canada 6 June 2014, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 3 June 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 5 June 2014, the cumulative number of cases and deaths attributable to Ebola virus disease in Guinea is now 344, including 215 deaths. Cases have been reported from Boffa, Télimélé, Boke. Dubreka, Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola and Djingaraye.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 June 2014)

 

Taiwan: Dengue Fever

Seven local and four imported cases of dengue fever were reported from the period of 27 May to 2 June in Taiwan. The newly reported 3 local cases were from Kaohsiung City. Local Health Authority advised public to continue adopting preventive measure to eliminate pockets of stagnant water that serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes and to avoid mosquito bites.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control, R.O.C. (Taiwan) 3 June 2014)

 

Mainland: Novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Like Coronavirus from Bats

Novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Like Coronavirus has been identified from bats collected in Yunnan province, China.

Travellers are reminded to take heed of personal, food and environmental hygiene and avoid contact with animals including bats during their travel.

(Source: Journal of Virology 9 April 2014)

 

Solomon Island: Acute Diarrhoeal Diseases 

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services has declared a nationwide diarrhea outbreak. The outbreak of diarrhea has affected over 1000 people and resulted in at least 16 deaths in young children in the past 2 weeks. These outbreaks have been reported in 6 provinces, including Guadalcanal, Western Province, Choiseul, Malaita, Central, and Makira.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 June 2014)

 

Jordan: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

 The Department of Health (DH) is today (June 5) closely monitoring an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by Jordan, and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

 According to the WHO, the male health-care worker (HCW) aged 26 is now hospitalised. The case was laboratory confirmed on May 31. He had contact with a previously confirmed HCW.

To date, 681 MERS cases (including 204 deaths) have been reported to the WHO globally, including 44 additional cases reported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between May 19 and June 2.

Travellers, apart from avoiding contact with animals, especially camels, or visits to farms, barns or markets with camels, they should not drink raw milk, or consume food which may be contaminated by animal secretions or products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled.

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

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 1 June 2014, the cumulative number of cases and deaths attributable to Ebola virus disease in Guinea is now 328, including 208 deaths. Cases have been reported from Boffa, Télimélé, Boke. Dubreka, Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola and Djingaraye.

(Source: World Health Organization 4 June2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 1 June 2014, in Sierra Leone, 79 cases including 6 deaths due to Ebola virus disease were reported.

(Source: World Health Organization 4 June 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

 The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (June 4) received notification of four additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Jiangsu (two cases) and Shandong (two cases) from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

A total of 433 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (108 cases), Jiangsu (56 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Hunan (23 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Anhui (17 cases), Jiangxi (eight cases), Shandong (five cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one imported case from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 4 June 2014)

 

Algeria: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

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

According to the WHO, both patients had stayed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for the Umrah pilgrimage. The first case is a man aged 66 who presented with fever and shortness of breath on May 23 after returning from Mecca, KSA, on the same day. The other patient is a man aged 59 who developed influenza-like illness and diarrhoea on May 23 in the KSA. Both are now hospitalised for management. The two cases were laboratory confirmed on May 30.

These are the first two cases of MERS in the African region of the WHO.

Travellers, apart from avoiding contact with animals, especially camels, or visits to farms, barns or markets with camels, they should not drink raw milk, or consume food which may be contaminated by animal secretions or products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled.

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

 

Tanzania: : Dengue Fever

As at 30 May 2014, the dengue fever outbreak in Tanzania has spread to 7 regions on the mainland and 2 regions in Zanzibar.

(Source: Promed Mail 3 June 2014)

 

USA: Measles

As of 23 May 2014, 288 confirmed measles cases have been recorded in USA.  It was the highest reported yearly total of measles cases since elimination in 2000.

(Source: ProMED-mail 1 June 2014)

 

South Sudan: Cholera

As of 25 May 2014, a cholera outbreak was detected in Juba, South Sudan. A cumulative total of 586 cholera cases, including 22 deaths have been reported.

(Source: World Health Organization 30 May 2014)

 

 Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 28 May 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 291 clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 193 deaths. Cases have been reported from Boffa, Télimélé, Boke. Dubreka, Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola and Djingaraye.

(Source: World Health Organization 30 May 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 29 May 2014, in Sierra Leone, 50 cases including 6 deaths due to Ebola virus disease were reported.

(Source: World Health Organization 30 May 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 29 May 2014, one new suspected case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) who died in Foya district was reported in Liberia.

(Source: World Health Organization 30 May 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 9 June 2014