TRAVEL HEALTH ALERT – OCTOBER 8
Dengue Fever – Taiwan
The CDC reports today that despite a wave of cooler weather in recent weeks, Dengue Fever cases continue to increase in numbers. Up to this date, the total number of cases in Taiwan this season is 813, with the majority – over 780 – recorded in the Southern city of Kaohsiung.
In this report, the CDC also states that there is a strong likelihood of the total number of victims falling ill with Dengue Fever climbing to over 5,000. Should this be the case, 2014 would be the worst season for Dengue since 2002.
All possible is being done to advise people how to prevent being bitten, and warn citizens against leaving empty receptacles outdoors, where water could collect, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
All visits to areas where Dengue Fever is a danger should be undertaken with caution.
Dengue Fever – Macau
The first reports came today that Dengue Fever is now beginning to affect Macau in China, a very popular resort spot, noted for its restaurants, clubs and night-life, especially convenient for business travellers spending time in Hong Kong. Today, the number of cases confirmed is 11. Please check further up-dates as we continue to monitor this new outbreak information.
Ebola – Dallas
Mr. Thomas Duncan, who flew from Liberia to Dallas, on Sept. 20, has died today in hospital in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Duncan’s death represents the first death from Ebola on U.S. soil, and at present, 5 family members are under quarantine. Another 48 contacts and possible contacts are under surveillance for the virus.
It does appear that Mr. Duncan was at first misdiagnosed and sent home with antibiotics before returning to hospital and being tested positive for Ebola on September 30th, less than a week after falling ill.
Chikungunya Fever – Puerto Rico
900 new cases of Chikungunya Fever have now raised the total to over 10,000 in Puerto Rico. It is confirmed also that these are all locally-transmitted cases of the disease. However, the total fatalities within the territory remains at 3.
Chikungunya has spread at an alarming rate throughout the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America in a short space of time, and, with this latest report from Puerto Rico, the number of confirmed cases in the Western Hemisphere, now tops 750,000.
Although both Chikungunya and Dengue are vector-borne viruses carried by mosquitoes, they should not be confused one with the other. Much less is known at present about the Chikungunya virus, and although some symptoms mirror the symptoms of Dengue, health officials are as yet unclear as to the ultimate effects of Chikungunya.
As the winter holiday season approaches, the Caribbean, and popular dive spots in Central America beckon travellers seeking a beach or coral reef they can call their own for a few weeks. If your travel plans include a beach in paradise, please leave plenty of time for a visit to one of our two convenient Travel Health Clinics in London, no less than 6 weeks before travelling.
During your free consultation, we shall be happy to answer any questions you have about your state of health, travel plans, and any risks involved in the itinerary, or activities you might have in mind, including scuba diving, sailing, hiking and other potentially taxing sports. And, at the same time, we shall recommend the travel vaccinations and precautions you will require during your visit to countries where such serious viruses as Dengue, Chikungunya, and others could be a threat.