Daily Travel Health Update 7 July fromLondon Vaccination Clinic: Travel Clinic London
Travellers to the Caribbean are reminded that the Chikungunya Virus Outbreak which began back in March is continuing to spread throughout the region. There are well over 100,000 confirmed cases of the disease and many more suspected cases across the Caribbean islands as well as some parts of Central and South America and the souther States of the United States. Although is is rare for Chikungunya fever to cause fatalities it is a very debilitating illness causing those infected with the disease to experience high fever, sickness skin rash as well as severe muscle and joint pains which can last up to a week. The fever is spread by mosquitoes which bite mainly during the daytime. There is no vaccination against Chikungunya Fever and travellers best defence against contracting this disease is to use DEET insect repellent and cover up exposed skin.
Authorities in Ghana are issuing warnings about a possible Cholera Outbreak in Accra due to current unsanitary conditions and the onset of the rainy season. Cholera Outbreaks are common in this part of the world with more than 100 people dying from the disease in 2012. Cholera is a bacterial disease which is found in contaminated water which infects people who drink it or eat food that comes into contact with it. It causes severe diarrhoea and if left untreated with oral rehydration fluids, people infected can die from Cholera within a short period of time. Travellers can reduce the risk of contracting this disease by getting vaccinated prior to travel as well as practising high levels of personal hygiene and drinking only bottled water.
There have been hundreds of suspected cases of Cholera in South Sudan over the past few days and more than 2,500 reported cases and 63 deaths since the outbreak began a few months ago. The outbreak has been caused by overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in refuge camps with people displaced from recent fighting in the area.
Three cases of Cholera have been reported in the Hidalgo district in eastern Mexico. This region has seen cholera outbreaks in the past and recent efforts from health authorities have helped in prevention and treatment of this disease.
Travellers to Brazil are reminded to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of contracting Dengue Fever, an illness spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There are currently a number of high risk areas throughout the country and travellers can reduce the risk of being bitten by using insect repellent such as DEET as well as covering up areas of exposed skin. Speak with one of or travel nurses at either of our Travel Clinics in London for further up-to-date information about high risk areas.
Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia
The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa which has so far claimed the lives of almost 400 people continues to be a very serious health issue across the region. Authorities are trying to help control the spread of the disease however the geographical scope and public awareness campaigns remains challenging. Ebola is a very serious disease which currently has a fatality rate of around 90% in some areas. People infected with the disease develop signs and symptoms similar to cold and flu which rapidly develop into multiple organ failure and haemorrhagic fever. Travellers planning on visiting this region are advised to keep up-to-date with travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
The Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) continues to be a major health issue across the Middle East. Travellers to the region are advised to keep informed of high risk areas and avoid contact with anyone suspected of having this disease as well as avoid crowded areas such as larger public gatherings and public transport.