Daily Update 12 June 2014 from Destination Health: Travel Vaccination Clinic in London.
United States of America
There have been reports of a cat being infected by the Rabies Virus after being bitten by a skunk in Harvey County in central Kansas in the United States. The cat subsequently went on to bite and scratch three people, all of whom are now being treated for possible post-exposure to the virus. Rabies is a very serious disease which is almost always fatal for those people that develop the disease. Travellers to areas of high risk of rabies transmission should seek advice regarding vaccination.
A serious Measles Outbreak is being reported in Waikato in the northern tip of the North Island of New Zealand with over 50 cases being investigated. Measles is highly contagious and is spread to person to person via small droplets in the air after someone coughs or sneezes. Travellers to this region should make sure that they are up-to-date with their routine Travel Vaccinations which includes the measles immunisation.
There have been reports from Kuwait that five camels have been found to be infected with the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus which has been rapidly spreading across the region. The camels were identified as testing positive for this virus after sampling around 80 camels as part of precautionary measures. MERS is a very serious respiratory illness which is spread to human to human when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Over 250 people have died from this disease since the outbreak began in Saudi Arabia.
Efforts in West Africa are continuing to try and stop the spread of the recent Ebola Outbreak which has been causing infections and deaths across the region including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Due to the porous nature of national boarders it is difficult for authorities to control the spread of this disease from country to country. Health authorities are also facing challenges in treating this disease with patients and family sceptical of western medicine preferring to rely on local and traditional medicine.
Travellers to all countries across the Caribbean are reminded to practice mosquito avoidance measures to avoid being infected by Chikungunya Fever which is rapidly spreading across the region. Chikungunya Fever which causes severe fever and joint and muscle pains is spread by daytime biting mosquitos. Use DEET 50% insect repellant and cover up exposed areas of skin with long sleeves and trousers to avoid being bitten.
Football fans travelling to this years World Cup Football Finals in Brazil need to ensure that they are aware of the risk of Dengue Fever. There is a high risk of Dengue Fever in the host cities of Fortaleza, Recife, and Natal and there is a medium risk in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, and Manaus. Dengue Fever which is spread by daytime biting mosquitos causes severe fever and the feeling of break bone in the muscle and joints. Reduce the risk of getting bitten by using DEET 50% insect repellant and covering up areas of exposed skin by wearing long trousers and sleeves.