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Travel Health News Digest (4 November 2014 - 10 November 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

1,294

World Health Organization, 21 October 2014

Brazil

574,612

WorldWorld Health Organization, 6 November 2014

Cambodia

2,757

World Health Organization, 21 October 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

44,117

10,516

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 10 November 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 10 November 2014

India

21,772

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 29 October 2014

Japan

317

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 4 November 2014

Lao PDR

1,561

World Health Organization, 21 October 2014

Malaysia

80,578

World Health Organization, 21 October 2014

Mexico

95,252

World Health Organization, 6 November 2014

New Caledonia

105

World Health Organization, 21 October 2014

Philippines

67,781

World Health Organization, 21 October 2014

Singapore

16,903

Singapore National Environment Agency, 7 November 2014

Sri Lanka

35,842

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 5 November 2014

Thailand

31,673

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 5 November 2014

Vietnam

14,381

World Health Organization, 21 October 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.

 

India: Chickepox infection

An outbreak of chickenpox has affected at least 10 children at Ashokjhar village in Jajpur district in Odisha state, India.

(Source: ProMED-mail 9 November 2014)

 

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

The Department of Health (DH) is today (November 8) closely monitoring twelve additional cases (including three deaths) 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, among the patients aged from 30 to 90 (median: 56), eight are men, eleven suffer from one or more comorbidities and one had contact with animals and consumed raw camel products. Seven (including two healthcare workers (HCWs)) had contact with previously confirmed patients, while two (including one HCW) visited hospitals with ongoing MERS outbreaks although they had no contact with confirmed patients. In addition, three previously confirmed patients died. To date, 909 laboratory-confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 331 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 8 November 2014)

 

Taiwan: Japanese encephalitis

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control announced on 4 November 2014 one new case of Japanese encephalitis in an 80-year-old female who resides in southern Taiwan.

(Source: ProMED-mail 8 November 2014)

 

Spain: Legionnaires' Disease

The Health Department has detected 8 cases of Legionnaires' Disease in Alcoy of Spain over the last 10 days.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 November 2014)

 

French Polynesia: Chikungunya Fever

French Polynesia has confirmed 541 cases of the mosquito borne illness chikungunya in the last 3 weeks of October 2014.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 November 2014)

 

USA: Enterovirus Infection [Update]

From mid-August to 6 Nov 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 1116 people in 47 states and the District of Columbia in USA with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.

(Source: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 6 November 2014)

 

Germany: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus infection was reported in a farm of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 6 November 2014)

 

France: Enterovirus Infection

A 4-year-old boy in France presented with acute flaccid paralysis following EV-D68 infection.

(Source: Eurosurveillance 6 November 2014)  

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 1,731 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,041 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 November 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 4,759 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,070 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 November 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 6,525 including 2,697 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 November 2014)

 

Nigeria: Cholera

The outbreak of cholera in Nigeria, which started in May 2013, is continuing. An increase in cases occurred in early 2014; as of 12 October, a total of 34,008 cases with 664 deaths had been reported since the beginning of the year.

(Source: NaTHNaC 5 November 2014)

 

USA: Pertussis

The Division of Public and Behavioral Health has declared an outbreak of pertussis  in Elko County of USA. As of 27 October 2014, Elko County has had 14 cases of pertussis reported since July 2014.

(Source: ProMED-mail 5 November 2014)  

 

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

The Department of Health (DH) is today (November 4) closely monitoring 12 cases (including five deaths) 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, among the patients aged from 17 to 75 (median: 54), nine are men, 10 suffer from one or more comorbidities while eight had contact with previously confirmed patients. None had contact with camels or their raw products but two live in areas densely populated with camels. In addition, a previously confirmed patient died. To date, 897 laboratory-confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 325 deaths.

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

 

Pakistan: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

A 35-year-old woman from Orangi of Pakistan had been admitted to the hospital on 26 October 2014 suspected of contracting Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever. The city recorded 8 cases this year with 3 deaths.

(Source: ProMED-mail 31 October 2014)  

 

 

Last revision date: 10 November 2014