Daily Update 5 June 2014 from Destination Health: Travel Vaccination Clinic in London.
Guyana, French Guiana and Venezuela
The mosquito-borne Chikungunya Virus continues to spread throughout the Caribbean since the first reports of the outbreak of the disease in French St. Martin at the start of the year. The outbreak has now spread to the northern part of South America with reports of cases in Guyana, French Guiana and Venezuela. There is currently no vaccination and travellers are reminded to use DEET 50% insect repellant and cover areas of exposed skin to avoid being bitten by the daytime biting mosquitos that carry and spread this disease. Chikungunya Fever causes a very severe pain in the joints and muscles of those infected by the disease. This is a very unpleasent condition however most people recover within a week or so.
Following on from reports of cases of Chikungunya Fever in northern South America, countries throughout the Caribbean continue to see cases steadily rising with the Dominican Republic in particular reporting well over 100,000 cases of the disease since the beginning of the outbreak. Travellers are reminded to avoid being bitten by the daytime biting mosquitos that carry this disease by using insect repellant and covering exposed skin. Speak with one of our travel nurses at either of our Travel Clinics in London for further information and advice.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is concerned about the further development and spread of the Ebola outbreak that has been occurring in West Africa with cases and deaths occurring in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola is a highly contagious and serious disease with fatality rates as high as 90% in some areas. Travellers to this region are advised to keep up-to-date with news regarding this disease and avoid contact with anyone suspected to be infected or to have come into contact with an infected person.
A Diarrhoea Outbreak in the Western Provinces of Zimbabwe has affected over 1,000 people and authorities fear that this latest outbreak could result in fatalities, especially in children and elderly. Travellers are reminded that diarrhoea is a very common illness when travelling and the risk of infection can be reduced by practicing high levels of personal hygiene and avoiding drinking tap water and only drinking bottled water. For further travel advice regarding avoiding and treating travellers diarrhoea, speak to one of our travel nurses at either of our travel vaccination clinics in London.
The recent Cholera Outbreak in South Sudan has caused authorities to close down local food markets in an attempt to improve hygiene and stop the spread of the disease. Since the outbreak began, 29 people have died and more than 1,200 have been affected. Travellers to this region should consider a cholera vaccination which can help reduce the risk of contracting this potentially life threatening disease.
The Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) continues to spread throughout the Middle East. The fatality rate in Saudi Arabia from the disease is now over 40 percent. There have so far been almost 700 cases including 284 deaths.