Travel Alert – China, Guangdong Province…

Drum Cussac has issued this latest warning for people living or traveling to China.  This information is available to GeoBlue plan members from the GeoBlue website daily…

Elevated Public Health Concerns as Guangdong Records Surge in Dengue Fever Cases

Category: Health and Medical

Severity: 2 (Low)

Source: Drum Cussac

09/30/2014 (China) – Local health officials reported on Monday, 29 September, that Guangdong province recorded a total of 1,152 new dengue fever cases on Sunday. China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the outbreak continues to spread with the cumulative number of cases now at 11,867. Health officials also reported that one death was documented in Guangdong, raising the death toll to four.

This year’s dengue outbreak in Guangdong is the most severe in the past 20 years, according to Xinhua. The province usually sees fewer than 1,000 cases a year. The previous highest number of cases was in 1995, with about 7,000 infections. The national disease control and prevention centre says warm temperatures and high rainfall have provided a positive environment for mosquito incubation and growth. The mosquito population has reportedly increased to five times the normal level. As of 28 September, 19 out of the 21 prefecture-level cities had reported dengue fever cases. Officials have asked to citizens to reduce standing water to make the environment less favourable to mosquitoes. Pest control workers are spraying insecticide to help control the spread of dengue fever.

Symptoms of dengue fever include flu-like conditions such as high fever, headaches, and severe muscle and joint pain. As there is no vaccine for the disease, prevention is the best method to minimise the risk of contraction. The risk of being bitten is the highest during the early morning, several hours after daybreak and in the late afternoon before sunset.

Personnel can prevent mosquito bites by wearing loose, long-sleeved clothing and trousers to cover the skin. Application of an insect repellent with DEET is recommended. Make sure the work environment and accommodation is as mosquito-free as possible. This may include such measures as eliminating pools of stagnant water which are optimal mosquito breeding environments. Personnel are also advised to search in dark, cool places indoors such as in closets, under beds and behind curtains where mosquitoes may be most likely present.

Monitor these developments closely for any information that affect travel, personal safety and operations. The surge in new dengue fever patients may put a strain on public health care facilities. Those in-country or planning to travel to Guangdong are advised to secure the services of private medical institutions.

Copyright © 2014 Drum Cussac

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