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Travel Health News Digest (13 May 2014 - 19 May 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

706

World Health Organization, 06 May 2014

Brazil

282,397

World Health Organization, 27 April 2014

Cambodia

300

World Health Organization, 06 May 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

5

76

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 14 April 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 19 May 2014

India

1,768

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

Lao PDR

441

World Health Organization, 06 May 2014

Malaysia

28,814

World Health Organization, 06 May 2014

Mexico

18,154

World Health Organization, 09 May 2014

New Caledonia

222

World Health Organization, 06 May 2014

Philippines

18,661

World Health Organization, 06 May 2014

Singapore

5,498

Singapore National Environment Agency, 16 May 2014

Sri Lanka

9,349

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 13 May 2014

Thailand

6,062

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 14 May 2014

Vietnam

3,820

World Health Organization, 06 May 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.

 

USA: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (May 18) closely monitoring a suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome  (MERS) in the United States (US), and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suspected case involves a man in Illinois, who has no recent travel history. He met with the Indiana patient who is the first imported case of MERS in the US confirmed on May 2 on two occasions shortly before the first patient was identified as having Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. As part of the follow-up investigation, the local health authority contacted the Illinois man for testing and laboratory test results on May 16 showed that he has antibodies to MERS-CoV.

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 18 May 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (May 17) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province. The patient is a 37-year-old man who lives in Zhongshan. He is currently hospitalised for treatment.

 A total of 426 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (108 cases), Jiangsu (54 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Hunan (23 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Anhui (14 cases), Jiangxi (eight cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 18 May 2014)

 

France: Schistosomiasis

According to the Regional Health Agency of Corsica of France, several clusters of schistosomiasis were detected by national and regional health authorities in late April 2014. The persons concerned have swum in the Cavu river in South Corsica before the onset of symptoms.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2014)

 

South Sudan: Cholera

A cholera outbreak was detected in Juba, South Sudan and the number of suspected cases rose to at least 56.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2014)

 

USA: E Coli infection

A total of 3 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome due to E Coli infection were diagnosed in Kansas, USA.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2014)

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Yellow Fever

A total of 59 cases of yellow fever were identified within 6 weeks in Katanga of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2014)

 

Vietnam: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Ho Chi Minh City health authorities have warned that the number of hand, foot, and mouth disease cases has sharply increased and 3373 HFMD cases were reported in the city of Vietnam this year as of 9 May 2014.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (May 16), two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Jiangsu and Guangdong according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities. The patient in Jiangsu is a 66-year-old man while the patient in Guangdong is an 86-year-old man who lives in Meizhou. They are now hospitalised for treatment.

A total of 425 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (107 cases), Jiangsu (54 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Hunan (23 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Anhui (14 cases), Jiangxi (eight cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 17 May 2014)

 

Netherlands: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (May 15) closely monitoring the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) confirmed in the Netherlands, and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel. According to the Dutch health authority, the patient was infected with MERS Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Upon return to the Netherlands, he was admitted to a hospital for treatment under isolation. His current condition is stable. Tracing of contacts by the Dutch health authority is ongoing. This is the first MERS case in the Netherlands.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 15 May 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 12 May 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 248 clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 171 deaths. Cases have been reported from Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola and Djingaraye.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 May 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (May 14) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province. The patient is a 71-year-old man who lives in Meizhou. He is currently hospitalised for treatment.

 A total of 423 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (106 cases), Jiangsu (53 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Hunan (23 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Anhui (14 cases), Jiangxi (eight cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 15 May 2014)

 

India: Scrub Typhus

A 64-year-old man from Maharashtra State of India contracted Scrub Typhus. He presented with fever and other symptoms and was admitted to hospital.

(Source: ProMED-mail 15 May 2014)

 

USA: Pertussis

An outbreak of pertussis was noted in Sacramento County of California, USA and 69 confirmed cases were reported in 2014. Moreover, there was increasing number of cases reported in both Napa County and Contra Costa County this year while an infant in Placer County has died of pertussis.

(Source: ProMED-mail 14 May 2014)

 

Japan: E.coli Infection  

Increasing number of cases of E. Coli infection (EHEC O157) was observed in Japan and 126 cases were reported as of 22 April 2014.

(Source: National Institute of Infectious Diseases 13 May 2014)

 

Worldwide: Poliomyelitis

In order to prevent further international exportation of polio, WHO recommends, among others, countries currently exporting wild poliovirus, i.e. Pakistan, Syrian Arab Republic and Cameroon, to ensure all their residents and long-term visitors (of over 4 weeks) to receive a dose of polio vaccine 4 weeks to 12 months prior to each international travel. WHO also encourages residents and long-term visitors (of over 4 weeks) of those infected countries which are not exporting wild poliovirus, i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Israel, Somalia and Nigeria, to have polio vaccination 4 weeks to 12 months prior to their international travel.

(Source: World Health Organization 5 May 2014)

 

United States: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Health (DH) is today (May 13) closely monitoring an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) confirmed in the United States (US), and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Public Health England, the patient is a health-care worker (HCW) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The patient travelled on May 1 from Jeddah, the KSA, to London, the United Kingdom, by Saudi Arabian Airlines flight 113 (SV 113) during which the patient became ill, then transferred at Heathrow Airport for onward travel to Boston, Atlanta and Orlando, the US, by plane. The patient continued to have symptoms including fever, chills and slight cough on subsequent flights. On May 9, the patient attended hospital in Florida and was hospitalised under isolation in good condition. The case was later laboratory confirmed. Tracing of contacts including passengers on the same flights with the patient is ongoing.

 This is the second imported MERS case in the US.

Excluding the above case, to date, 496 MERS cases have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) globally.

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 13 May 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) received notification last night (May 12) of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan affecting a woman aged 74 from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. She is now hospitalised for treatment.

A total of 422 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (105 cases), Jiangsu (53 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Hunan (23 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Anhui (14 cases), Jiangxi (eight cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).

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

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 10 May 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 233 clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 157 deaths. Cases have been reported from Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola and Djingaraye.

(Source: World Health Organization 12 May 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 19 May 2014