Daily Travel Health Update 23 May 2014 from Destination Health: Travel Vaccination Clinic in London.
Further cases of Dengue Fever have been reported in regions throughout Brazil – there have been over 6,000 cases in São Paulo this year alone. Dengue Fever is spread by daytime biting mosquitos and can cause severe joint and muscle pains and can be fatal in some circumstances. Travellers to the Football World Cup this summer are reminded to practice mosquito avoidance measures including covering exposed skin with long trousers and long sleeves as well as wearing insect repellant.
There have been three further deaths from Rabies in Vietnam. The most recent cases were in the northern province of Yen Bai. Rabies continues to be a significant problem in Vietnam. Rabies is a very serious illness that is spread by infected mammals such as dogs and foxes which is fatal in 100% of cases which develop untreated. Travellers to areas of high risk of rabies should consider getting vaccinated against this disease prior to travel. The vaccination is given as a course of three injections over the course of a number of weeks so travellers will need to make sure that they book an appointment well before they intend to travel. Speak to one of our travel nurses at one of our travel clinics in London for more information about the rabies vaccination.
Four new cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported in the Chinese provinces of Jiangsu and Guangdong. Travellers are advised to avoid poultry markets or contact with any surfaces which could have been contaminated. Avoid crowded areas such as public transport such as trains and busses as well as other large gatherings where the risk of infection is highest. Flu is spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes and spreads the virus through tiny moisture droplets in the air which are breathed in by other people. It is also advised to maintain good hygiene and wash hands regularly with soap and water and use alcohol gel.
The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa continues to improve, with no new alerts or cases being reported – although further deaths are occurring from people previously infected with the disease. Since the outbreak began there have been 144 confirmed cases and 97 deaths from the disease. There is no vaccination for Ebola although authorities are currently working on developing one. Travellers should ensure that they keep up to date with travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as avoid contact with anyone suspected of being infected with this disease as well as anyone that has come into contact with the disease. Ebola is a very serious illness which has a mortality rate of up to 90%.
Reports of further cases of Chikungunya Virus are being reported as the outbreak continues to spread throughout the Caribbean. Chikungunya Virus which is spread by daytime biting mosquitos causes severe headache, fever and muscle and joint pains. There is no vaccination available for Chikungunya Virus so travellers are reminded to try and avoid getting bitten by covering up exposed skin with long sleeves and trousers as well as using Insect repellant such as DEET 50%.