Dengue fever continues to be a dominant health issue

Written by Ronald St. John

June 3, 2013

Health | Travel

Dengue fever continues to be a dominant health issue

The dominant health issue in this week continued to be dengue fever. Circulation of the dengue fever virus has been a major public health problem in Pakistan (Karachi and Sindh Province), the Philippines (Central Visayas and metropolitan Manila) and Singapore, where the first death due to dengue in this city was reported. In Angola, the first recorded outbreak of dengue continued, and visitors to Angola from at least 10 different countries returned home and became ill. In South America, reports of dengue appear to be decreasing as the summer season begins to change to winter with a decrease in mosquito activity in the southern hemisphere.

Remember: regardless of how much dengue fever there is wherever you are going, you can reduce the risk of getting this infection by strictly following mosquito bite prevention measures.

H7N9 Avian Influenza

All the affected jurisdictions in China have discontinued emergency control measures since, with one exception, no new cases have been reported during the past month. There was no international spread of this deadly virus.

Since investigations into the origin of this virus are still under way, it would be wise to avoid visiting any live poultry markets in China at this time.

Malaria

There were reports from Cambodia that the number of reported cases of malaria was decreasing. Meanwhile, the opposite was true in Zimbabwe were the number of cases was increasing.

Ebola

A mini outbreak of ebola haemorrhagic fever was reported again in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Teams from the World Health Organization were sent to help control any further spread.

Cholera

Cholera is an on-going problem in many countries. This week major outbreaks were reported in Niger and Mali.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

There were several reports indicating that the season for extensive spread of HFMD in China has begun.

West Nile Fever Virus (WNV)

The first reports of WNV came from southern Russia. However, the virus is beginning to be detected in mosquitoes in the USA (Texas and Tennessee) which means that human cases may occur soon.

Big News in Safety and Security:

Turkey

A protest against the removal of trees from a city park has escalated into multi-city demonstrations against the current government. Police have clashed with demonstrators and the protests have turned violent over the past four days.

Myanmar

Major episodes of sectarian violence in central Myanmar resulted in deaths and destruction of homes and businesses. The government struggled to maintain law and order.

Philippines

The long-standing conflict in the southern Philippines between government forces and the New People’s Army erupted in several places in southern Mindanao where armed conflict has endangered some of the civilian population.

Iraq

There has been an escalation of car bombs and other explosive devices that have claimed the lives of a large number of people in various cities. The background for these events seems to be sectarian conflict, and some authorities are concerned that a civil war may occur in the near future.

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