Daily Travel Health Update, 20 August 2014

Daily Travel Health Update 20 August 2014 from London Vaccination Clinic: Travel Clinic London

The Caribbean – Chikungunya Fever

Travellers to the Caribbean are reminded to practice mosquito avoidance measures when travelling throughout the region to avoid being bitten by the daytime biting mosquitoes that spread Chikungunya Fever. We advise travellers to wear DEET 50% insect repellent and to cover up areas of exposed skin. More than 300,000 have been infected during the recent outbreak which began almost six months ago and has now spread throughout the Caribbean, and some parts of Central, North and South America.

India – Dengue Fever

A Dengue Fever outbreak is being reported in the Uttarakhand State in India. Dengue Fever, which is spread by mosquitoes, causes a very high fever and joint and muscle pains. Most people recover after about a week but it can lead to more serious forms of the disease such as dengue hemorrhagic fever which can be fatal in some instances. Like Chikungunya, Dengue Fever is spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccination available however travellers can protect themselves by covering up exposed skin and wearing insect repellent.

Thailand – Civil Unrest

Travellers to Thailand are advised to keep up-to-date with advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding the ongoing civil unrest across Thailand. Although safe to travel in many parts of the country, there are some regions that all but essential travel is advised against. A state of martial law has been in place across the country since 22 May. Check with your insurance provider that your policy covers all aspects of your trip as some policies are not effective in areas where martial law is in force.

West Africa – Ebola

Since the beginning of the recent Ebola Outbreak in West Africa more than 1,220 people have died across Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. There is currently no cure for this disease which is spread when someone comes into direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person. It starts with high fever and flu like symptoms which can lead to hemorrhagic fever causing organ failure and death. Controlling the spread of this outbreak across West Africa is a challenge for local authorities due to a range of factors including a lack of healthcare facilities, lack of funding, public awareness and a preference for traditional versus western medicine. If you are travelling to this region please keep up-to-date with advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as the situation is rapidly changing, for example British Airways has recently suspended flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia until the end of the month.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

There is currently a world wide shortage of the vaccination for Yellow Fever. Yellow Fever which is present across most parts of South America and central Africa is a potentially fatal disease which is spread by mosquitoes. It is a requirement of entry for many countries in this region for travellers to be vaccinated against this disease. Evidence in the form of a Yellow Fever Vaccination Record must be presented to border officials upon arrival. London Vaccination Clinic is one of a number of specialist travel clinics who have stocks of the Yellow Fever Vaccination and we are currently running specialist Yellow Fever clinics during the week to ensure that our travellers are up-to-date prior to their travels. If you require a Yellow Fever Vaccination, please get in touch to find out when we are running our next clinic.

Dengue Fever – China

More than 400 people have been infected with Dengue Fever in Guangzhou, China. Dengue Fever is spread by mosquitoes that bite mainly during the daytime and travellers to this region are advised to make sure that they cover up exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers and spraying and insect repellent such as DEET 50%.