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Travel Health News Digest (10 June 2014 - 16 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

483,516

World Health Organization, 12 June 2014

Cambodia

482

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

11

120

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 13 June 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 16 June 2014

India

2,687

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 28 May 2014

Lao PDR

640

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Malaysia

33,456

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Mexico

22,862

World Health Organization, 12 June 2014

New Caledonia

286

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Philippines

21,690

World Health Organization, 3 June 2014

Singapore

7,325

Singapore National Environment Agency, 13 June 2014

Sri Lanka

13,748

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 13 June 2014

Thailand

8,231

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 10 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.

 

Somalia: Measles


Nearly 1000 cases of measles were reported in Somalia in May 2014. The most affected areas were Bari, Nugaal, Mudug, Banadir and Lower Juba.

(Source: ProMED-mail 15 June 2014)

 

United Arab Emirates, Iran & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (June 14) closely monitoring additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome  (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 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.

UAE
---
According to the WHO, the male patient aged 36 is a butcher who works in a slaughter house for camels and sheep. The case was identified and laboratory confirmed upon a general screening in slaughter houses.

Iran
----
The female patient aged 35 is a nurse assistant who is a close contact of the first confirmed patient in Iran.

KSA
---

 A total of 402 laboratory confirmed MERS cases (including 114 deaths) were reported to the WHO between April 11 and June 9, and 109 of them are healthcare workers (HCWs) (including four deaths). Patients' age ranged from nine months to 94 years old and the median was 46 years old. About 58.3 per cent of cases with information reported are male. Some 44.5 per cent reported severe disease while 28.6 per cent were asymptomatic or had mild illness.

In addition, another 113 cases were identified by KSA through retrospective review and were reported to the WHO on June 3, pending further information.

To date, 697 laboratory confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 210 deaths.


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 14 June 2014)

 

USA: E Coli infection

As of 9 June 2014, a total of 17 persons with E Coli infection (STEC O121) have been reported from 5 states in USA namely Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Utah and Washington. The outbreak was linked to contaminated raw clover sprouts.

(Source: ProMED-mail 12 June 2014)

 

Iran: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

On 26 May 2014, the National IHR Focal Point of the Islamic Republic of Iran reported to WHO the first 2 laboratory confirmed cases of infection with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The 2 patients are sisters and residents of Kerman Province. 

Globally, 683 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS including 204 related deaths have officially been reported to WHO. This global total includes all of the cases reported in this update, plus 44 laboratory-confirmed cases officially reported to WHO by Saudi Arabia between 19 May and 2 June. 

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: World Health Organization 11 June 2014)

 

Thailand: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease  

Since the beginning of 2014, almost 14 000 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) have been reported in Thailand. Most HFMD cases were found in Mae Hong Son and Phetchaburi.

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 June 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 5 June 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 351 clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 226 deaths. Cases have been reported from Kouroussa, Boffa, Télimélé, Boke. Dubreka, Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola and Djingaraye.

(Source: World Health Organization 10 June 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 13 June 2014, Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 89 clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 7 deaths.  Cases have been reported from Kailahun, Kenema, Bo, Port Loko and Freetown.

(Source: World Health Organization 10 June 2014)

 

Philippines: Rabies

The Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines has recorded 9 confirmed cases of rabies from January to May 2014 in Zamboanga City. 

(Source: ProMED-mail 9 June 2014)

 

Mozambique: Dengue Fever

There was an outbreak of dengue fever in Mozambique. As of 8 May 2014, a total of 243 cases were reported from the Cabo Delgado province and Nampula province.

(Source: World Health Organization 14 May 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 16 June 2014