Daily Travel Health Update, 21 August 2014

Daily travel update informing travellers of disease outbreaks and other travel health issues across the globe keeping you up-to-date with travel health information and changes in travel vaccination requirements around the globe.

Chikungunya Fever – Caribbean

The Chikungunya Fever outbreak is still continuing to affect people across the Caribbean, with over 300,000 people infected with the illness since the outbreak began earlier this year. Chikungunya is spread by mosquitoes and causes a high fever and severe joint and muscle pains in those infected. Most people recover fully after a week or so however it is a very unpleasant condition which is best avoided. There is currently no vaccination available for Chikungunya Fever and travellers to the region should ensure that they avoid being bitten by the daytime biting mosquitoes that spread this disease. Make sure that you wear a high quality insect repellent such as DEET 50% as well as loose fitting clothing that covers any areas of exposed skin to avoid being bitten.

Cholera Outbreak – Ghana

Health officials are blaming the recent Cholera Outbreak in Accra Ghana on poor sanitation levels. Cholera is a serious  disease which left untreated can be fatal. The outbreak which has affected over 3000 people since June has also resulted in over 40 deaths. It is spread from person to person via the faecal oral route due to poor hygiene and sanitation. Travellers to this region are advised to protect themselves against the disease by being vaccinated prior to travelling. The Cholera Vaccination, which is administered orally, is given as a course of two. Travellers should also ensure that they practice high levels of personal hygiene at all times including washing hands with soap and water and using alcohol gel.

Dengue Fever – China

Reports of a Dengue Fever Outbreak in Guangzhou, in the Guangdong region in China suggest that over 400 people have now been infected with the disease. There is currently no vaccination available against Dengue Fever and travellers are advised to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes to prevent transmission. Make sure that you wear a high quality repellent such as DEET 50% and cover up areas of exposed skin by wearing loose fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs.

Dengue Fever – Malaysia

There are also reports of a Dengue Fever outbreak in Malaysia with over 3,000 cases being reported in the past week alone, with more than half of the cases coming from the Kelantan District in the North East of the country neighbouring Thailand. There have been over 60,000 cases of Dengue Fever reported in the country since the start of the year. Travellers are again reminded to take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes as outlined above.

Dengue Fever – India

Further reports of Dengue Fever cases include the Sagar district in India where over 60 people have been infected with the disease and a number of people have died. Dengue Fever, spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, causes severe fever and joint and muscle pains usually clears up after a week or so, however it can develop into a more serious and severe form of the disease Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever which can lead to organ failure and fataility.

Ebola – West Africa

The Ebola Crisis in West Africa continues to spread and efforts to control the disease is becoming increasingly challenging. The outbreak is occurring across a number of countries in the region, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Developments are rapidly changing across each of these areas and travellers are advised to keep up-to-date with news agencies and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for timely information.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

There is currently a global shortage of the Yellow Fever Vaccination. Some GP surgeries and smaller travel clinics are unable to administer the vaccination during this time, however we have secured ample supplies to cover this period. We are holding regular Yellow Fever Vaccination Clinics throughout the week. If you require this vaccination for travel to South America or Africa please contact us to arrange and secure your vaccination. It is given as a single dose which will provide protection after 10 days and last 10 years. We will also provide you with a Yellow Fever Vaccination Record Card as proof of vaccination which is a requirement for entry in many countries where this disease is endemic.

Civil Unrest – Thailand

Travellers to Thailand are reminded to keep up-to-date with the political situation in Thailand. A state of Marshal Law was imposed across the country in May which may affect your plans for travel to the country. There are also some areas in Thailand which all but essential travel is advised against, especially in the boarder regions between Thailand and Malaysia. Keep up-to-date with advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).