Daily Travel Health Update, September 29th 2014

Dengue Fever, South China

In just one day 791 new cases of Dengue Fever have been reported in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province in China, bringing the total to over 10,700 since the start of the outbreak.  As at the time of writing, no precise cause has yet been determined.

Conjunctivitis Epidemic, Vietnam

The eye infection commonly called Pink Eye, has reached near epidemic proportions in and around the capital of Hanoi in Vietnam, with more than 7,000 cases reported.  Conjunctivitis causes inflammation of the membrane covering the white portion of the eye, and is highly- transmissible.  If left untreated, conjunctivitis can seriously affect vision.  Should you develop watery, itchy, eyes – consult a doctor or eye clinic as quickly as possible.

Polio Outbreak, Pakistan

With the current outbreak of Polio in Pakistan, and Kandahar in neighbouring Afghanistan, the global Polio cases now total just over 200, of which 166 in Pakistan.  Prior to firming up travel plans to any affected region, and at least 6 weeks before leaving, please remember to contact our Travel Health Clinic in London for an appointment and check-up to ensure that your polio vaccination is up-to-date.

Dengue Fever, Japan

The first indigenous cases of Dengue Fever in Japan since 1945 are linked to several Tokyo-area parks, several of which have now been closed, in the wake of reports that the total number of cases has now risen to 144.

High Risk of Disease Due to Flooding, Philippines

Health Advisories have been issued for Manila in the Philippines, due to massive flooding, the worst in two years, in the aftermath of Typhoon Mario, and the subsequent risk of infectious disease.  Poor sanitation and water-borne diseases, such as Leptospirosis, Typhoid, Cholera, and Hepatitis A, all pose a threat during a flood crisis.  The threat of Malaria, and Dengue Fever is also magnified when stagnant and putrified water is sitting in populated areas, where mosquitoes can breed at an accelerated rate.

If you are planning to travel to Manila, or any area where Malaria is a risk, you will want to consider taking a prophylaxis of anti-malarial medication prior to departure and all throughout your journey.  The best method is prevention, through the use of insecticides, and clothing that covers all exposed areas to protect you from being bitten.  Whether in Manila, or indeed, any area where sanitation is poor, avoid drinking all but boiled or chlorinated water, and be absolutely sure that any food you eat is clean, and well-cooked.  Do not wade in flood waters, where Leptospirosis can be a danger, and be especially vigilant about personal hygiene.

For more important advice on staying healthy abroad, please visit our Travel Vaccination Clinic Website, and call us for an appointment at one of our clinics in London at least 4-6 weeks prior to your departure for a free consultation.

Ebola Crisis, West Africa

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that, based on current progression of the outbreaks in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the total estimated number of victims of Ebola could reach as high as 1.4 million by January.  Concurrent with this news is a report from Liberia that the quarantine has made matters worse.