Daily Travel Health Update 10 July fromLondon Vaccination Clinic: Travel Clinic London
There has been an increase in the number of cases of Typhoid Fever reported in Nepal, with more than 40 people being admitted per day in one hospital alone in the Saptari district. It is believed that the increase is due to changes in the weather, with higher temperatures and higher rainfall increasing the risk of spreading contaminated water. Typhoid Fever is common in Nepal where there are problems with access to clean drinking water and open deification is common with almost half of households not having access to a toilet. Travellers to this region are advised to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A to reduce the risk of contracting this disease.
Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
The Ebola Outbreak continues to be a major health concern across the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone where more than 400 people have died since the outbreak began at the start of March. New cases are being reported in both Liberia and Sierra Leone however there have been no new cases of the disease confirmed in Guinea over the past 7 days. Health authorities are concentrating on a range of measures to help stop the spread of this very serious disease including public health awareness campaigns, deploying health workers to areas of high risk and strengthening cross-boarder surveillance measures. There are currently no travel restrictions in the area however travellers are advised to keep up-to-date with advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Health Authorities in Malaysia are putting in place measures to help control the spread of Japanese Encephalitis. There have recently been 17 confirmed cases of the disease across the country, of which four have been fatal. Pigs and wading birds are the source of the Japanese Encephalitis Virus which is spread to humans by mosquitoes. Travellers to high risk areas can get vaccinated against this potentially fatal disease. Speak to one of our travel nurses at either of our Travel Clinics in London for further advice.
There are reports of a Cholera Outbreak in the Hidalgo state of Mexico, which has included a number of deaths. People travelling to areas of where this disease is endemic can reduce the risk of being infected by getting vaccinated before travelling as well as practising high levels of personal hygiene and drinking only bottled water. Cholera is really serious and if it is left untreated it can be fatal within a short period of time. People infected by the disease need immediate treatment which includes oral rehydration to replace fluids lost caused by severe diarrhoea that the illness causes.
The nasty Chikungunya Fever continues to cause havoc across the Caribbean and wider throughout the region including some parts of southern United States as well as Central and South America. Chikungunya Fever which is spread by mosquitoes causes a severe fever, skin rash and joint and muscle pains. The health authorities in each of the different countries are trying to stop the spread of this disease but it is challenging. If you are going to the Caribbean you will need to use a good insect repellent such as DEET 50% and cover up exposed skin to stop getting bitten.
If you are going to Brazil, be aware that there is a high risk of getting Dengue Fever in many areas across this vast country, especially in the tropical Amazonian regions. Dengue Fever, also known as break bone fever causes a range of unpleasant symptoms including severe joint and muscle pains. Although rare, Dengue Fever can be fatal if it progresses into the more serious form of the disease, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever. There is currently no vaccination against Dengue Fever, so try to avoid being bitten by the daytime biting mosquitoes that carry this disease by covering up areas of exposed skin and spraying a good quality insect repellent regularly.
So far this year across Vietnam there have been over 300 confirmed cases of Japanese Encephalitis of which five people have died. Japanese Encephalitis which is spread to humans by mosquitoes causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and in severe cases it is fatal. This is a vaccine preventable disease which travellers can protect themselves from prior to travelling to areas of high risk such as Vietnam and South East Asia.