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Travel Health News Digest (23 December 2014 - 29 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

1,433

World Health Organization, 16 December 2014

Brazil

547,612

World Health Organization, 19 December 2014

Cambodia

3,543

World Health Organization, 16 December 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

45,171

15,662

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 15 December 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 29 December 2014

India

30,583

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

Japan

335

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, 24 December 2014

Lao PDR

1,695

World Health Organization, 16 December 2014

Malaysia

98,128

World Health Organization, 16 December 2014

Mexico

117,698

World Health Organization, 19 December 2014

New Caledonia

316

World Health Organization, 4 November 2014

Philippines

90,503

World Health Organization, 2 December 2014

Singapore

18,133

Singapore National Environment Agency, 26 December 2014

Sri Lanka

45,597

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 26 December 2014

Thailand

39,157

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 24 December 2014

Vietnam

17,766

World Health Organization, 16 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.

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 2,630 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,654 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 29 December 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 9,203 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,655 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 29 December 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 7,862 including 3,384 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 29 December 2014)

 

Hong Kong : Avian Influenza, human

The Department of Health (DH) today (December 28) reported the latest updates of the first confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong this winter, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

As of yesterday (December 27), 470 cases (including at least 184 deaths) have been reported since March 2013, including 454 cases in the Mainland and 16 cases exported to Hong Kong (eleven cases), Taiwan (four cases) and Malaysia (one case).

Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 28 December 2014)

 

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

The Department of Health (DH) is today (December 27) closely monitoring three additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), including one death, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by 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.

According to the WHO, the cases include:

* A female nurse aged 29 in an isolation ward who had contact with a previously confirmed patient;

* A male patient aged 70 with underlying illnesses, frequent contact with camel and consumption of raw camel products; and

* A male patient aged 61 with underlying illnesses, frequent contact with camel and consumption of raw camel products and he died earlier.

To date, 941 laboratory-confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including at least 347 deaths.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 27 December 2014)

 

Mainland: Avian Influenza, human

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has been notified by the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province of a confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) today (December 23) affecting a 58-year-old man in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The patient, who is in critical condition, is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in Guangzhou. No abnormality was reported among the close contacts of the patient.

All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation,

Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.

(Source: The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health 23 December 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 2,597 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,607 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 23 December 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 9,004 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,582 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 23 December 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 7,830 including 3,376 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 23 December 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 2,571 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 1,586 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 22 December 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update]

Sierra Leone has reported a cumulative total of 8,939 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 2,556 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 22 December 2014)

 

Liberia: Ebola virus disease [Update]

The total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Liberia is 7,830 including 3,376 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 22 December 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 29 December 2014