WORLD TRAVEL HEALTH ALERT- OCT 26/10/14. Dengue Fever in Hong Kong and China, Chikungunya Fever in Puerto Rico, Ebola Update.
Dengue Fever- Hong Kong
Dengue Fever – China
Although some reports indicate that the outbreak in Guangdong Province, South China is slowing down its progress, another 550 new cases were recorded this past Thursday in Guangzhou city, bringing the total number of cases to 39,919 this year. Of this massive total, Guangzhou alone accounts for 33,385 cases.
Dengue Fever has become an epidemic throughout South East Asia this year, and it is highly recommended that prior to any visit to the region, whether mainland or island countries, you ensure that you are fully apprised of the measures necessary to protect yourself.
There is no cure for Dengue Fever. Now that there is proof all four different Serotypes of the virus are carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the risks are higher than ever, because immunity to one type does not guarantee immunity to any other type of the virus.
As you review your “to do list” before travelling, be sure to set aside time for a visit to one of our Travel Health Clinics for a free consultation and pre-travel review of your current state of health. At that time we shall be pleased to answer any questions you might have regarding Dengue and prevention from mosquito bites.
Chikungunya Fever – Puerto Rico
It has been confirmed that not only has Chikungunya Fever reached epidemic proportions on the island of Puerto Rico, but that it has outpaced the spread of Dengue by more than 3 to 1. Chikungunya cases number close to 17,000, and there seems at present to be no respite from the disease that continues to affect the entire Caribbean region. A state of emergency was declared in Puerto Rico in July. While other Caribbean islands, such as the Dominican Republic, with close to half a million infected, and Guadeloupe with at least 80,000, continue to suffer worse conditions, the rapid spread of the virus in Puerto Rico is of particular concern. Puerto Rico is the northern-most island in the Caribbean chain.
Ebola – Global Update
Following the hospitalization of MSF volunteer, Dr. Craig Spencer, in New York, the states of New York, New Jersey, and Illinois have declared mandatory quarantines for any person having had direct contact with an Ebola patient during a stay in the three
most affected countries in West Africa, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In addition, for any person, including medical professionals, having had direct contact with any infected person in the three mentioned countries, a quarantine period of 21 days will be in effect.
Many comments made following this statement, including one from a Doctor who survived Ebola, indicate that this move could actually discourage healthcare volunteers from going to West Africa to help in the battle against the outbreak. Based on recent news, and various statements made across the U.S., and Europe, there is every indication that this points to an international trend.
The World Health Organisation reports a total of 10,141 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of the Ebola virus, in West Africa at this time. Of these cases, 450 were healthcare workers treating the infected, among whom 244 have died.
It goes without saying that healthcare workers treating symptomatic Ebola patients are at the highest risk for contracting the virus, and the W.H.O. has admitted that the lack of proper protective gear, and adequate facilities have contributed to the added danger to workers and staff.