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Travel Health News Digest (11 March 2014 - 17 March 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. The American, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific regions are the most seriously affected. Various popular tourist attractions among Hong Kong people including Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia observe high activities of dengue fever.

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

Cambodia

16,722

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

China
  Guangdong province


2,895

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 14 February 2014

Taiwan

904

CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 17 March 2014

Vietnam

66,140

World Health Organization, 26 February 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

242

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Brazil

18,580

World Health Organization, 5 March 2014

India

1,203

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

Lao PDR

118

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Malaysia

13,915

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Mexico

2,364

World Health Organization, 5 March 2014

New Caledonia

56

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Philippines

3,549

World Health Organization, 26 February 2014

Singapore

3,290

Singapore National Environment Agency, 16 March 2014

Sri Lanka

5,694

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 13 March 2014

Thailand

3,081

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 11 March 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.

 

Macau: Avian Influenza, poultry

 A sample batch of live poultry imported from the Zhuhai, mainland was tested positive on 12 March 2014 for the H7 avian influenza virus, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau in Macau announced. The poultry wholesale market was sealed off immediately, thoroughly cleaned and sterilised after the culling of about 7,500 chickens.

(Source: Government Information Bureau of Macao S.A.R. 13 March 2014)

 

Brazil: Cutaneous Larva Migrans

The most common skin problem in ill returned travellers from Brazil was cutaneous larva migrans caused by hookworm larvae. Thirty percent of beach sand samples from Alto Beach, Pernambuco (near Recife) contained larvae of these organisms. Most travellers were infected during beach exposures when hookworm larvae in sand and soil penetrated the dermis and migrate superficially. The feet are most often affected, followed by the buttocks and abdomen. Infection may persist weeks to months, rarely up to a year. Prevention is by avoidance of skin contact with soil or sand. Travellers who plan to go to Brazil for World Cup 2014 and enjoy the sun on the beach should be cautious.

(Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases 28 February 2014)

 

Germany: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of low pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus infection was reported in the State of Lower Saxony, Germany. Of 38323 susceptible birds, 48 were affected and all were destroyed.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 12 March 2014)

 

Libya: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus infection was reported in poultry farm in Tubruq City of Libya. 45 local backyard chickens and 5 ducks were infected

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 12 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (March 12), one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Anhui according to the latest report of the Mainland health authority.   As of yesterday, a total of 380 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (87 cases), Jiangsu (43 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (21 cases), Hunan (17 cases), Anhui (10 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case).

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

 

United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

WHO has been informed of an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. One case was reported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 11 March and two cases from Saudi Arabia on 5 March.

Globally WHO has been informed of a total of 189 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 82 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 12 March 2014)

 

Caribbean: Chikungunya Fever [Update]

As of 6 March 2014, around 8000 suspected cases including 3 deaths of Chikungunya Fever were reported in Caribbean.

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 March 2014)

 

Cambodia: Avian Influenza, human

According to the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, one additional fatal human case of H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed. The case was a 11-year-old boy from Kampong Chhnang province. 

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 March 2014)

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza, poultry

An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza was reported in a village in Dong Nai, Vietnam. A total of 10000 birds were affected and 5000 were found dead.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 10 March 2014)

 

Mainland: Measles

There were 4091 measles cases including 2 deaths reported in February in Mainland, compared to 2070 cases in the previous month.

(Source: National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China 7 March 2014)

 

Japan: Measles

In Japan, there were 139 measlescases reported from weeks 48 of 2013 to weeks 8 of this year and were nearly 2 fold more than previous year.

(Source: National Institute of Infectious Diseases 7 March 2014)

 

United Kingdom: Scarlet Fever

In United Kingdom, there were widespread increases in scarlet fever notifications in February 2014. A total of 868 notifications were made during weeks 5 to 8, compared to an average of 444 for the same period over the past four years.

(Source: Health Protection Agency 4 March 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 17 March 2014