WORLD TRAVEL HEALTH ALERTS – August 17, 2011
– More German measles in Suva
– DENGUE: Epidemic worsens in Philippines’s capital
– MALARIA: Outbreak on Mindanao
– Food poisoning strikes at World Youth Day
– MEASLES: Updates from Africa, Asia, Pacific
– Gastro, cholera on the rise in Mumbai
– Queensland’s flu rate skyrockets
– Bat causes in-flight flap
More German measles in Suva
In Fiji, the number of cases of German measles has risen to 28. Of the 28 cases, all from the Greater Suva area, 26 were young men aged between 18 and 32. More details.
Advice to travellers: German measles is spread by airborne droplets. It is a particular risk for pregnant women. Rubella is the 'R' component in the triple MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. Travellers should check their immunisation status for all childhood diseases, including measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, mumps, and polio as part of their pre-travel medical preparations.
DENGUE: Epidemic worsens in Philippines’ capital
PHILIPPINES: In Manilla, dengue has skyrocketed this month, with 6000 new cases in the first two weeks of August. Official figures put the year-to-date total at 45,333, with 267 deaths. Cases numbers are increasing rapidly in Ilocos, and Central and Southern Luzon. More details.
BANGLADESH: an ‘alarming’ incidence of dengue in the capital, Dhaka has boosted the year-to-date case total to 473. More details.
NEPAL: The southern Chitwan region is experiencing a surge in dengue fever, along with cases of typhoid and leptospirosis. More details.
PAKISTAN: Karachi is bracing for more dengue following monsoon rains. Seven recent cases in the city have brought the year’s total in Sindh Province to 138. More details.
INDIA: In Orissa, 2 more deaths have taken the dengue toll to 14 from 195 confirmed cases. Earlier confined to Angul, Dhenkanal and Sundargarh, the epidemic has now spread to 16 districts, including Balasore, Khurda, Cuttack, and Kalahandi. More details.
THE BAHAMAS: More than 1500 cases have been now been recorded, the majority from Southern New Pro
vidence, Bain, and Grants Town. More details.
CUBA: High temperatures and heavy rains in the east, and drought in the west are providing ideal conditions for dengue carrying Aedes mosquitoes, prompting an intensive clean-up of potential breeding sites in Havana and Guantanamo. In 1981, Cuba suffered its worst ever dengue outbreak, which left 158 dead. Cuba, Chile, and Uruguay are the only Latin American countries where dengue is not endemic. More details.
Advice to travellers: Seasonal rains in Asia and the Caribbean are creating ideal conditions for dengue fever. Travellers should cover up and regularly apply an insect repellent containing effective active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, to exposed skin at all times when outdoors. The mosquitoes that transmit the dengue virus inhabit urban areas, including leading hotels and resorts, and bite mainly during the day.
MALARIA: Outbreak on Mindanao
Also in the Philippines, malaria has been reported in the municipalities of Gutalac, Leon B. Postigo, Sibuco, and Sindangan, in Zamboanga del Norte province (Mindanao Island). More details.
Nigeria’s Gombe State is hot spot for malaria in Africa's most populous country. There have been more than 700 deaths (170,000 cases) since 2009, with 100 between February and May this year alone, according to a spokesman for a World Bank-funded malaria control project being conducted in the eastern state. More details.
In the Solomon Islands, Honiara City Council recently completed a survey of the capital to identify high-risk areas for malaria. The disease is significant public health issue in the capital and the council plans to introduce control measures targeting Anopheles mosquito breeding areas. More details.
Advice to travellers: Malaria is present in many tropical countries. Discuss your itinerary and whether preventative medication is recommended at your nearest Travelvax clinic, or with your healthcare provider. For advice, call Travelvax on 1300 360 164.
Food poisoning strikes at World Youth Day
Food poisoning struck at the World Youth Day in Spain on the weekend. Poor food maintenance has been blamed for the as-yet undiagnosed illness which sickened 76 young Italians housed in a sports complex in Granada’s Otura municipality. More details.
Contaminated kebabs are the suspected source of 7 cases of E.coli poisoning in Cardiff, South Wales. More details.
In the USA, there are now 107 people sick from Salmonella linked to turkey mince. A voluntary recall of 36 million pounds of mince products continues, with 31 States recording cases of a multi-drug resistant Salmonella strain. CDC officials expect more cases. More details.
Meanwhile, 60,000 pounds of ground be
ef is also being recalled after routine testing revealed E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria contamination of products on sale in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. No cases of illness had been reported. More details.
MEASLES: Updates from Africa, Asia, Pacific
In Africa, measles deaths are mounting among the 118,400 Somali refugees in the Dollo Ado camps in south-eastern Ethiopia. More details.
Measles outbreaks continue in Asia and the Pacific.
INDIA: Measles killed a child last week in an outbreak in Karnataka state. More details.
NEW ZEALAND: Auckland’s measles tally has reached 104 after 10 new cases last week. In Waikato, 19 cases have been recorded, with one student in hospital.
AUSTRALIA: Sydney has recorded 7 cases in as many weeks. None were linked to overseas travel, indicating local transmission. More details.
Two people in Adelaide caught measles from a travellers infected in Dubai. More details.
Advice to travellers: Given ongoing epidemics in many parts of the world, Australian trav
ellers should ensure they are protected against measles. Those who have not had measles or have not received two documented doses of live virus vaccine should consider a booster, regardless of their destination. We also advise travellers to check their immunisation status for childhood diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria, mumps, and polio, as part of their pre-travel medical preparations.
Gastro, cholera on the rise in Mumbai
In Mumbai (India), acute gastroenteritis remains the major concern in the city. Four cases of cholera were also recorded last week. More details.
Queensland’s flu rate skyrockets
Queensland is Australia’s influenza hot spot this year. The State has had 306 cases to August 8 – a 7-fold increase on last year. More details.
Bat causes in-flight flap
In America, a bat hitched a ride in the cabin of a plane last week, prompting a nationwide search for the flight’s human passengers in case the animal was carrying rabies. CDC officials were trying to reach the 50 passengers on the flight from Wisconsin to Atlanta, several of whom posted clips of the bat flying in the cabin on YouTube. Bats are a primary source of rabies in the US. More details.
Travelvax Australia compiles this weekly bulletin of global travel health alerts, risk assessments and advice for the information of Australian travellers and the travel industry. Please contact our travel health advisory service on 1300 360 164 for broad destination-specific advice and vaccination recommendations. Recommended vaccines, travel medication, trip-specific advice and accessories are available during a medical consultation with a travel health professional at any of Travelvax Australia’s 32 clinics. Visit our website or call 1300 360 164 for details.