Daily Travel Health Update, October 1st 2014

Daily travel health update for 1 October 2014 summarising disease outbreak information from around the world. For further advice and assistance, please contact one of our travel health specialists at one of our vaccination clinics in London.

Dengue Fever – South China

The number of Dengue Fever sufferers in South China today is reported to have risen to just below 14,000.  While the number of victims is staggering, what seems worse is the alarming rate at which the spread of the disease is escalating.  We shall continue to follow developments and report on any news in tomorrow’s alert. If you are travelling to this region, please ensure that you practice mosquito avoidance measures to avoid contracting this disease which currently does not have a vaccination available. Cover areas of exposed skin with long sleeves and trousers as well as using a insect repellant such as DEET 50%.

Ebola – Texas, USA

The first case of Ebola in the United States has been diagnosed in Texas. What sets this case a part is the fact that it is also the first patient who developed the virus on U.S. soil.  The man who is now being treated in a Texas hospital flew from Liberia on September 19, and subsequently developed symptoms of Ebola on September 24th.  It is still not known how this patient contracted the virus, since he was not a healthcare worker, nor was he in contact with any sufferers of the disease.

Chikungunya Fever – Colombia

The Chikungunya Fever outbreak which started in the Caribbean earlier this year has continued its spread throughout the region and beyond. Colombia is now reporting that it has had almost 6,000 cases of the disease. Chikungunya Fever is spread by day-time biting mosquitoes and travellers are advised to try and avoid being bitten to prevent contracting this disease. Cover up exposed areas of skin and wear an insect repellant such as DEET 50%.

Rabies – India

Stray dogs in India are causing an alarming number of cases of rabies being reported across the country. In one city alone, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, four people have died this year from the disease and the local hospital is treading up to 40 people per day from stray dog bites. Travellers to India should consider getting vaccinated against this disease which is fatal in people that have been infected by the disease.

Ghana – Cholera Outbreak

There is currently an outbreak of Cholera in the Volta Region of Ghana which has so far effected over 400 people and caused the death of six people. Cholera is usually caused by drinking water being contaminated after unsanitary conditions. Travellers can protect themselves against this disease by getting vaccinated prior to travel. If you are travelling to this region, speak to one of our travel nurses at either of our clinics in London.

Measles Outbreak – Bali

There is currently a measles outbreak being reported in Bali, Indonesia. Travellers to this region should ensure that they are up-to-date with their routine childhood vaccinations including MMR which includes the measles vaccination. Measles which is not common in the UK is a very serious disease, especially in children. Symptoms include high fever and flu-like conditions as well as light sensitivity and spots around the mouth and throat. Most people fully recover, but some people can go on to experience symptoms including bacterial infections of the brain and lungs. In severe cases, measles can be fatal. Outbreaks such as this occur due to low immunisation rates amongst the population.