H7N9 Avian Flu in China

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed human cases of an avian influenza virus identified as A(H7N9) in the People’s Republic of China. All cases have occurred in neighbouring regions in eastern and south eastern China, including the travel-related cases in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Additional cases are expected.

For the latest updates on avian influenza (H7N9) virus, also referred to as H7N9 flu virus, including the total number of cases and deaths please visit the WHO’s Global Alert and Response website.

H10N8 Avian Flu in China

The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of a confirmed human case of an avian influenza virus identified as H10N8 in the People’s Republic of China. The case occurred in Jiangxi province in south eastern China.

Many different influenza viruses are found in animals and do not normally infect humans. In June 2012, Chinese researchers reported the first detection of the virus in a live-bird market, in Guangdong province. The case of H10N8 flu virus is the first confirmed case of this avian influenza virus in humans.

The Chinese government is responding to this event and is working closely with the WHO. At this time, there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission.

Avian Influenza (H5N1): Global Update

The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed a case of H5N1 in an Alberta resident who returned from a trip from China on December 27, 2013. The individual received hospital care and died on January 3, 2014. This is the first confirmed human case of H5N1 in North America.

If you are travelling to a region where avian influenza (H5N1) is known to be present, it is recommended that you:

  • avoid all high-risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets.
  • avoid eating undercooked eggs or poultry or being close to areas where poultry may be slaughtered.
  • wash your hands frequently.
  • see a health care provider if you develop flu-like symptoms while travelling or after you return to Canada.

Rubella (German measles) in Japan and Poland

Since the beginning of 2013, ongoing outbreaks of rubella, also known as German measles, have been reported in Japan and Poland. In Japan, over 14,000 cases have been reported, mainly concentrated in the Osaka and Tokyo Metropolis Prefectures. In Poland, over 36,000 cases have been reported throughout the country.

Pregnant women who are not protected against rubella either through vaccination or previous rubella infection should avoid travelling to Japan and Poland during this outbreak. This is especially important during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The Public Health Agency of Canada reminds travellers to make sure their rubella vaccination is up-to-date.

Cholera in Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti

The Dominican Republic and Haiti have reported thousands of cholera cases and related deaths. Cases of cholera decreased in 2013 compared to 2012, although they continue to be reported throughout both countries. There have been increases in the number of cases during seasonal heavy rainfall in the months of May to July and September to October.

In Cuba, authorities continue to monitor suspected cholera cases following last year’s outbreak. Through surveillance activities, cholera has been confirmed in the provinces of Camagüey, Granma, Guantanamo, Havana and Santiago de Cuba. Cases reported in other municipalities were associated with these five provinces.

Mexico has reported cases of cholera in the Federal district (Mexico City), and the states of Hidalgo, Mexico, San Luis Potosi and Veracruz. The country was affected by tropical cyclones, which have caused heavy rains, floods and landslides.