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Travel Health News Digest (16 December 2014 - 22 December 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

1,371

World Health Organization, 2 December 2014

Brazil

547,612

World Health Organization, 8 December 2014

Cambodia

3,377

World Health Organization, 2 December 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

45,171

15,404

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 15 December 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 19 December 2014

India

30,583

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

Japan

332

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 17 December 2014

Lao PDR

1,666

World Health Organization, 2 December 2014

Malaysia

93,402

World Health Organization, 2 December 2014

Mexico

113,907

World Health Organization, 8 December 2014

New Caledonia

316

World Health Organization, 4 November 2014

Philippines

90,503

World Health Organization, 2 December 2014

Singapore

17,919

Singapore National Environment Agency, 18 December 2014

Sri Lanka

43,059

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 12 December 2014

Thailand

37,879

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 16 December 2014

Vietnam

17,766

World Health Organization, 2 December 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.

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (December 22) received notification of seven additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) (four cases), Zhejiang (two cases) and Jiangsu (one case) from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The patients comprise five men and two women aged from 36 to 81. Four of them (three from Xinjiang and one from Jiangsu) died while two of them (one from Xinjiang and one from Zhejiang) are currently in serious condition. The remaining case from Zhejiang is now in mild condition and did not require hospitalisation.

To date, 454 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland in Zhejiang (141 cases), Guangdong (111 cases), Jiangsu (59 cases), Shanghai (42 cases), Hunan (24 cases), Fujian (23 cases), Anhui (17 cases), Jiangxi (eight cases), Xinjiang (eight cases), Beijing (five cases), Shandong (five cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case) and Hebei (one case).

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 22 December 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 2,453 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,550 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 19 December 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 8,759 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,477 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 19 December 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 7,819 including 3,346 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 19 December 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

On 16 December 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of eleven (11) additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. To date, there are a total of 454 laboratory-confirmed human cases with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including 182 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 18 December 2014)

 

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

The Department of Health (DH) is today (December 18) closely monitoring 11 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), including four deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel. To date, 938 laboratory-confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 343 deaths.

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

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 2,416 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,525 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 17 December 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 8,356 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,085 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 17 December 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 7,797 including 3,290 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 17 December 2014)

 

Mali: Ebola virus disease [Update]

As of 14 December 2014, the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of Mali reports a total of 8 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) including 6 deaths."

(Source: World Health Organization 17 December 2014)

 

Mainland: Dengue Fever [Update]

As of 15 November a total of 45,171 cases of Dengue Fever had been recorded in Guangdong, Mainland this year. Guangzhou alone reported 37,354 cases. The numbers of cases in other places in Guangdong are as follows: Foshan 3,542 cases, Zhongshan 679 cases, Jiangmen 595 cases, Zhuhai 505 cases, Shenzhen 450 cases, Zhaoqing 277 cases, Qingyuan 297 cases, Dongguan 287 cases, Yangjiang 294 cases, Zhanjiang 230 cases, Shantou 246 cases, Chaozhou 135 cases, Maoming 96 cases, Jieyang 85 cases, Heyuan 27 cases, Huizhou 37 cases, Shaoguan 15 cases, Yunfu 12 cases and Shanwei 8 cases.

(Source: Department of Health of Guangdong Province 15 November 2014)

 

Mainland: Influenza

In Mainland, the number of cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Beijing has been increasing since the week ending November 16 and exceeded the threshold in the following two weeks. Laboratory surveillance showed that the percentage positive for influenza viruses increased from 10.95 per cent in the week ending November 16 to 26.01 per cent and 24.29 per cent in the following two weeks, and the majority is influenza A(H3N2).

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

 

Japan: Influenza

The influenza season in Japan started earlier than usual. The rate of ILI reported in sentinel sites rose from 1.90 in the week ending November 30 to 3.49 in the week ending December 7, exceeding the level of 1.00 which indicates the start of the season. The number of positive influenza virus detections in public health institutes increased from 89 between November 10 and 23 to 116 between November 24 and December 7, while over 90 per cent are influenza A(H3N2).

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

 

USA: Influenza

Influenza activity in the United States has been on the rise. Out-patient surveillance revealed that 2.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent of patient visits were due to ILI in the two weeks ending November 29 and December 6 respectively, which were above the national baseline of 2.0 per cent. The percentage of specimens that tested positive for influenza viruses under laboratory surveillance further increased from 14.5 per cent in the week ending November 22 to 21.2 in the week ending December 6, while over 90 per cent were influenza A with H3N2 being the major subtype.

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

 

Canada: Influenza

Canada recorded continued increases in influenza activity. The percentage positive for influenza viruses significantly increased for the third consecutive week, from 8.6 per cent in the week ending November 22 to 15.2 per cent and 19.5 per cent in the two following weeks. The national ILI consultation rate rose from 29.1 per 1 000 consultations in the week ending November 29 to 44.3 in the next. To date, 95 per cent of influenza detections have been influenza A with H3N2 as the most common subtype.

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

 

United Kingdom: Influenza

Influenza activity in the United Kingdom started to increase recently. Laboratory surveillance in England showed that the percentage of specimens that tested positive for influenza viruses rose from 4.6 per cent in the week ending November 29 to 8.1 per cent in the next week, while about 95 per cent were influenza A with H3N2 being the major subtype.

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

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 2,394 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,518 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 December 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 8,273 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,033 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 December 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 7,797 including 3,290 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 15 December 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 22 December 2014