Travel Health News March 13th 2016

Yellow Fever Outbreaks

News from National Health and Family Planning Commission in China.

Case Report of a man who was found to have confirmed yellow fever in Beijing, China.

The man in question had returned from Luanda, Angola with symptoms of a high fever. There is currently a large outbreak of yellow fever in Angola.

Travel Advice

It is important to remember China has yellow fever vaccination certificate requirements for all those over the age of 9 months. Although there is no actual yellow fever in China, the risk of a potential outbreak is there, because of the presence of the mosquito vector – Aedes Aegypt. An outbreak would require first an infected individual to enter the area and then subsequently to be bitten by the vector mosquito.

Make sure you attend your local Travel Clinic for yellow fever at least ten days before departure. The vaccination lasts for life and the certificate for a minimum of 10 years.

Yellow fever is a live vaccine and there are a number of contraindications so its important you attend a registered yellow fever travel clinic for expert advice. Yellow fever vaccination is contraindicated in those with a true egg allergy.

 

Travel Clinic Alert March 15th 2016

Guidance CDC Providing Care Women following Zika Virus Exposure

New Travel Health guidance from the CDC regarding the provision of care for women of child bearing age after Zika virus exposure. The latest recommendation is for health care professionals to provide serology screening to those pregnant women without symptoms and have travelled to geographical regions with Zika virus cases.

Zika Virus Facts

  • Zika virus transmission is continuing to spread
  • Mainly transmitted by Aedes aegyptimosquitoes,
  • Associated with congenital microcephaly and other central nervous abnormalities
  • There is currently no preventable Travel vaccination or treatment
  • World Health Organization declared Public Health Emergency on Feb 1 st 2016.

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Travellers to areas with Zika virus prescence, are reminded of the importance of bite prevention.

Main methods include-

  • Wear long sleeved clothing and trousers.
  • Use permethrin soaked clothing.
  • Use adequeate strength DEET repellent. 50 % or greater.
  • DEET should be applied after the Sunscreen and may reduce in effectiveness because of the sunscreen, so may need to be re-applied.

Mosquitos spread also

  1. Yellow Fever
  2. Dengue
  3. Japanese Ecephalitis
  4. Chikungunya
  5. Rift Valley Fever
  6. West Nile Fever

Protection yourself before travelling by attending your local Travel Clinic at least 6 weeks before travel.  Ensure you are up to date on all essential vaccinations and obtain the necessary general pre travel advice for your specific itinerary.

Travel Alert South America March 15th 2016

Chikungunya in South America

Chikungunya cases had been initially noted in French Guiana at the end of 2013. The condition has spread throughout the South Americas including

Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Peru , Venezuela

Prevention Methods

The CDC has recommended that all visitors to South America take extra precautions in terms of bite prevention.

High risk groups for Chikungunya include

  • Travelers over age 65
  • Those who have pre-existing arthritis
  •  Serious chronic disease e.g. Ischaemic heart disease/Diabetes Mellitus
  • Long term visitors and those staying mainly in rural areas

Medical Facts

  • Virus transmitted via mosquitos
  • No travel vaccination available to prevent
  • Spread via same mosquito as Dengue-Aedes specie
  • Most usual symptoms –joint aches particularly hands/feet
  • Other general symptoms include headache, myalgia and rashes
  • Majority recover within 7 days
  • Can cause long term joint pain
  • Death from the condition is very rare

Travel Health News March 10th 2016

Lassa Fever Outbreak Nigeria March 10th

Lassa Fever has been reported in numerous areas of Nigeria. As of March 10th over 250 cases and over 100 fatalities have occurred from Lassa Fever.

Lassa Fever –The Facts

  • Viral Illness transmitted via rats.
  • Humans become infected by direct contact rat faeces or urine
  • Additionally infection through inhalation droppings/or contaminated food

What are the symptoms of Lassa Fever ?

There a number of symptoms associated with Lassa fever and the majority have mild symptoms including-

  • Mild pyrexia
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Headaches

Severe symptoms include bleeding from the the mouth and nasal passages, Dyspnoea (shortness of breath), generalized pain and shock from blood loss.

Incubation is usually 1-3 weeks post infection. Main region affected are Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leon.

Prevention of Lassa Fever

  • Avoid contact with rats
  • Maintaining high standard of food hygiene
  • Do not eat rats
  • Wash hands effectively and regularly

For the latest up to minute pre travel advice ensure you book an appointment at your local travel vaccination centre.

Chikungunya in South America

Chikungunya cases had been initially noted in French Guiana at the end of 2013. The condition has spread throughout the South Americas including

Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Peru , Venezuela

Prevention Methods

The CDC has recommended that all visitors to South America take extra precautions in terms of bite prevention.

High risk groups for Chikungunya include

  • Travelers over age 65
  • Those who have pre-existing arthritis
  •  Serious chronic disease e.g. Ischaemic heart disease/Diabetes Mellitus
  • Long term visitors and those staying mainly in rural areas

Medical Facts

  • Virus transmitted via mosquitos
  • No travel vaccination available to prevent
  • Spread via same mosquito as Dengue-Aedes specie
  • Most usual symptoms –joint aches particularly hands/feet
  • Other general symptoms include headache, myalgia and rashes
  • Majority recover within 7 days
  • Can cause long term joint pain
  • Death from the condition is very rare

 

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