Flash Player
 
Travel Health News
Print
 

Travel Health News Digest (11 February 2014 - 17 February 2014)

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. 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 Guangdong province in China, Brazil, Costa Rica, Columbia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic in the recent year.. 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 since 01/01/2013 *

 

Cumulative reported no. of cases since 01/01/2013

Source of information and
date of report

Brazil

1,451,432

World Health Organization, 13 January 2014

Cambodia

16,722

World Health Organization, 28 January 2014

China
  Guangdong province


2,900


Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 15 January 2014

India

70, 767

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, 28 December 2013

Mexico

231,498

World Health Organization, 13 January 2014

Philippines

166,107

World Health Organization, 28 January 2014

Taiwan

887

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 10 February 2014

Vietnam

60,588

World Health Organization, 28 January 2014


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

65

World Health Organization, 28 January 2014

Lao PDR

42

World Health Organization, 28 January 2014

Malaysia

2,985

World Health Organization, 28 January 2014

New Caledonia

9

World Health Organization, 28 January 2014

Singapore

2,099

Singapore National Environment Agency, 9 February 2014

Sri Lanka

3,285

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 7 February 2014

Thailand

1,016

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 4 February 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 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 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;
* 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.

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring seven additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Zhaoqing (one case), Guangzhou (two cases), Hunan (one case) and Zhejiang (three cases) according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities. The case in Zhaoqing involves a boy aged 8 while the two cases in Guangzhou involve two men aged 46 and 65. The case in Hunan is a man aged 19 and the three cases in Zhejiang are three men aged 46, 58 and 84 respectively. All of the patients are hospitalised for treatment.
As of 12 February, a total of 338 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (135 cases), Guangdong (64 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Jiangsu (40 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (11 cases), Anhui (six cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 13 February 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

 The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan and Zhejiang affecting two men aged 23 and 70 respectively according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities. Both are hospitalised for treatment. As of 11 February, a total of 331 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (132 cases), Guangdong (61 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Jiangsu (40 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (ten cases), Anhui (six cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 12 February 2014)

 

Taiwan: Dengue Fever

Five local cases of dengue fever were reported from the period of 28 January to 10 February in Taiwan with 2 cases in Pingtung County and 3 cases in Tainan 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) 11 February 2014)

 

Panama: Hantavirus infection

Nine cases of Hantavirus infections have been reported this year in Panama while 7 of the cases were from Los Santos province.

(Source: ProMED-mail 11 February 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

 The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring five additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) respectively in Guangzhou, Anhui (one case each) and Zhejiang (three cases) according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities. The case in Guangzhou involves a girl aged five who recovered and has been discharged from hospital. The case in Anhui is a man aged 56 who died on February 7. The cases in Zhejiang are two men aged 62 and 67 and a woman aged 47. All of them are under treatment in hospital. As of 10 February, a total of 329 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (131 cases), Guangdong (61 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Jiangsu (40 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (nine cases), Anhui (six cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

 (Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 11 February 2014)

 

Thailand: Chickenpox

The Thailand Ministry of Public Health reported an outbreak of chickenpox which affected some 2565 patients during the first 19 days of January 2014.

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 February 2014)

 

New Caledonia: Zika Virus Infection [Update]

The Board for Health and Social Affairs of New Caledonia has confirmed an outbreak of Zika fever. As of 3 February, 2014, 49 cases have been laboratory confirmed. Thirty of the 49 cases occurred in people with a travel history to French Polynesia.

Editor’s Note: Zika virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes causing milder symptoms. It is not spread directly from person-to-person. Like dengue fever infection, the symptoms include fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis and pain in small joints of the hands and feet.]

(Source: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 7 February 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 13 February 2014