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Travel Health News Digest (27 May 2014 - 2 June 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

776

World Health Organization, 20 May 2014

Brazil

282,397

World Health Organization, 09 May 2014

Cambodia

425

World Health Organization, 20 May 2014

Guangdong

Taiwan

5

77

Department of Health of Guangdong Province, 14 May 2014
CDC, ROC (Taiwan), 26 May 2014

India

1,768

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

Lao PDR

527

World Health Organization, 20 May 2014

Malaysia

30,921

World Health Organization, 20 May 2014

Mexico

18,154

World Health Organization, 09 May 2014

New Caledonia

276

World Health Organization, 20 May 2014

Philippines

19,406

World Health Organization, 20 May 2014

Singapore

5, 926

Singapore National Environment Agency, 23 May 2014

Sri Lanka

10,128

Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, 23 May 2014

Thailand

6,420

Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, 20 May 2014

Vietnam

3,820

World Health Organization, 20 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.

 

Jordan: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

 The Department of Health (DH) is today (May 29) closely monitoring an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome  (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by Jordan, and hence called on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel.

 According to the WHO, the male patient aged 69 with underlying illnesses was hospitalised on April 29 for surgery and discharged on May 3. He presented with fever on May 8 and was admitted to the same hospital on May 11. His specimen was tested positive for MERS Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) on May 23. He is now under intensive care in critical condition. He was admitted to the same hospital where a previously confirmed and fatal patient was hospitalised. 

To date, 636 MERS cases have been reported to the WHO globally, including 193 deaths.

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 29 May 2014)

 

Guinea: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

As of 27 May 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 281 clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 186 deaths. Cases have been reported from Boffa, Télimélé, Boke. Dubreka, Conakry, Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola and Djingaraye.

(Source: World Health Organization 27 May 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

In Sierra Leone, 16 cases and 5 community deaths due to Ebola virus disease have been reported from Kailahun district. The district is located in the eastern region of Sierra Leone sharing borders with Guéckédou in Guinea and also with Liberia. 

(Source: World Health Organization 27 May 2014)

 

Haiti: Chikungunya Fever [Update] 

According to health ministry of Haiti, more than 5000 cases of chikungunya fever have been confirmed.

(Source: ProMED-mail 26 May 2014)

 

Sierra Leone: Ebola virus disease [Update] 

The World Health Organization was notified on May 25, 2014 of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. Preliminary information received from the field indicates that one laboratory confirmed case and four community deaths have been reported from Koindu chiefdom. This chiefdom shares border with the current Ebola virus disease hotspot Guéckédou in Guinea. 

(Source: World Health Organization 26 May 2014)

 

Kenya: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Dromedary camels are a putative source for human infections with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus. Camels sampled in different regions in Kenya during 1992–2013 have antibodies against this virus.

(Source: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 26 May 2014)

 

 

Last revision date: 30 May 2014