Daily Travel Health Update, September 28th 2014

Dengue Fever, China

In addition to the more than 9,000 cases of Dengue Fever reported in Guangdong Province in China, there is now evidence that the epidemic has moved into Fujian Province and Guangzi Region of China.  There is no vaccination for Dengue Fever, sometimes called “Breakbone fever” which causes severe muscle and joint pain coupled with fever and headache, and can last from one to several weeks. Travellers can protect themselves by avoiding being bitten by the mosquitoes that carry this disease, mainly biting during the daytime. Wear clothing that covers all areas of exposed skin and generous amounts of insecticide to keep from being bitten.

Measles Outbreak, Philippines

More than 44,000 suspected and close to 17,000 confirmed cases of Measles have been reported in the Philippines  so far this year.  This outbreak, at present, shows no sign of losing momentum. Travellers especially for those with small children should ensure that they are properly vaccinated and up-to-date with all routine vaccinations prior to travel.  Before making plans to visit the Philippines, visit our Travel Health Clinic, or your family physician to be absolutely sure that your inoculation against measles, mumps and rubella is up-to-date.

Chikungunya Fever, Peru

The Chikungunya Virus continues to spread down from the Caribbean, through Central America, and now well into South America, where Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, and Peru are now reporting an unprecedented number of cases.  Prior to travelling to any of these areas make sure that you speak to one of our travel nurses about how to avoid being bitten, discuss your itinerary, and to have a complete pre-travel check-up to determine whether you are “high-risk” for contracting this virus.  Those with specific health issues, such as High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, or Heart Disease, for example, could become severely ill if bitten.

Ebola Outbreak, Liberia

Following reports that the number of deaths from Ebola had increased by roughly 300, the crisis in Liberia has spiralled.  After learning that her assistant had been killed by the virus, the Chief Medical Officer has put herself under quarantine for 21 days.  With a desperate shortage of beds, facilities, and doctors, Liberia could be facing the worst of the crisis.  Any non-essential travel to West Africa, including not only Guinea and Sierra Leone, but also Senegal and Nigeria, should be postponed or cancelled indefinitely.

Should travel to these areas be necessary, all precautions must be taken to observe strict hygiene through frequent and thorough hand-washing, avoidance of close contact with infected persons or healthcare workers treating infected persons, and the wearing of protective covering, including facial covering, during any visit to a treatment centre.

Rabies Outbreak, Vietnam

A higher-than-normal incidence of Rabies cases (50) have been reported in Vietnam recently, and visitors, especially to any rural areas, should be sure to take time 4-6 weeks prior to their departure, to visit our Travel Health Clinic, to be vaccinated against this disease, which is fatal in most cases.

Dengue Fever, West Africa

If the Ebola Outbreak wasn’t bad enough, recent reports advise that Dengue Fever is now a danger in Guinea and Liberia, with a low incidence of cases so far reported.

These alerts are provided for your information and safety when making travel plans, however, it is recommended that you contact one of our Travel Health Clinics in London for a consultation well in advance of finalising your arrangements.