Daily Update 20 May 2014 from Destination Health: Travel Vaccination Clinic in London.
Another three new cases of Polio have been reported in the Fata district of Pakistan. These new cases raise the number of cases reported to over 60 in the region so far this year. Vaccination rates have dropped since vaccination programmes were banned in this area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and it is now estimated that there are now over 160,000 unvaccinated children in the area.
Low vaccination rates has saw more than 25,000 cases of Measles across the country last year, with over 32o deaths. Travellers to the region are advised to ensure they are up-to-date with their routine vaccinations including the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella).
Around 500 people are ill and one person has died following a Cholera outbreak in south-eastern Nepal. Cholera is transmitted via the faecal-oral route and it is believed that this outbreak occurred when people started drinking contaminated water from a stream.
Another two cases of H7N9 avian flu virus have bee reported in the Guangdong Provence of China. Travellers should avoid contact, where possible, with potential sources of exposure and practice good hygiene, use alcohol gel when washing hands and avoid crowded areas.
Over 450 cases of Chicken Pox have been reported in Ranchi in the state of Jharkhand in India. Chicken Pox is a highly contagious airborne disease which symptoms include fever and rash. Chicken Pox is usually a mild condition but it can be more serious in people that are pregnant, newborn babies and people with weakened immune systems.
All of the 12 cities that are to hold the World Cup Football matches this summer in Brazil have been alerted to possible risk of a Dengue Fever outbreak. Dengue Fever is a viral infection that is spread by day-time biting mosquitos. It causes flu-like symptoms and severe joint pains. There is currently no vaccination for Dengue Fever and travellers are advised to practice insect avoidance by covering up exposed skin and using insect repellant.
The recent Chikungunya Virus outbreak in the Caribbean is rapidly spreading across the region with more than 45,000 suspected cases now reported. The outbreak has also now spread to some parts of southern United States. Chikungunya Virus is spread by day-time biting mosquitos. There is currently no vaccination for the virus, travellers are advised to practice insect bite avoidance measures including using insect repellant and covering exposed skin.
The death toll from the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome in Saudi Arabia continues to rise with now 169 confirmed fatalities. Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome is a respiratory illness which is spread when people infected with the disease cough or sneeze on others.
The recent Cholera outbreak in South Sudan is continuing, with more cases confirmed and further cases expected. Treating the outbreak is challenging due to a lack of medical facilities in the country. Travellers to this region should consider a cholera vaccination which will help reduce the risk of developing this disease. Travellers should also ensure that they drink only bottled water and avoid tap water.