Travel Health Service Year 2010

Current Travel Health News

Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (5 July 2010)

South Africa: Rift Valley Fever

Situation update
As of 2 July 2010, the Department of Health of South Africa has confirmed a total of 225 human cases of Rift Valley Fever and 25 deaths, in Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, North West, and Western Cape Provinces. The majority of human infections occur in persons involved in the livestock industry and result from contact with the blood or tissues of infected animals. A small number of human infections have also resulted from the bites of infected mosquitoes. Moreover, some cases become infected by ingesting the unpasteurized milk of infected animals.

(Source: National Institute for Communicable Diseases 2 July 2010)

The FIFA World Cup is now taking place in South Africa until 11 July 2010. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued health advice for travellers to South Africa as follows:
  • Before travelling, check with your doctor or Travel Health Centre for pre-travel health advice, vaccinations, and prophylactic medication.
  • Protect yourself against mosquito and other insects bites by applying insect repellents containing DEET, and wearing light-coloured and long sleeved clothing and trousers.
  • Avoid contact with animals, particularly with their tissues or blood (especially those visiting farms or games reserves).
  • Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and eating raw meat.
  • Be mindful of food hygiene and water safety. Wash your hands before eating and after going to the toilet.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Bring proper warm clothing with you as it is going to be winter in South Africa.
  • Road traffic and personal safety should be observed.
For more information, please visit WHO's website.

(Source: World Health Organization 21 May 2010)


Worldwide: Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 200

As of 27 June 2010, worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 18 239 deaths.
For more information, please visit WHO's website.

(Source: World Health Organization 2 July 2010)


Indonesia: Avian Influenza, human

The Ministry of Health of Indonesia has announced one new human case of H5N1 Avian Influenza. The victim was a 34-year-old female from Jakarta. She developed symptoms on 25 May and died on 1 June. A total of 166 cases with 137 deaths have been reported in Indonesia so far.

(Source: ProMED-mail 4 July 2010)


Honduras: Dengue Fever

Honduras raised a red alert for Dengue Fever after 10 people died and some 11 000 contracted the mosquito-borne disease.

(Source: World Travel Watch 30 June 2010)


India: Rabies, human

With a rise in the dog bite cases in Panchkula of Haryana state, India and its periphery, there has been a substantial increase in the number of Rabies patients recently. Five to six rabies patients visit the General Hospital every day. More than 100 cases of dog bites were reported at the hospital in May 2010.

(Source: ProMED-mail 29 June 2010)


France: Measles

In France, more than 2 000 cases of Measles have been reported since the beginning of 2010. Only 1 544 cases were reported last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 1 July 2010)


Panama: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The Ministry of Health of Panama has confirmed 2 new cases of Equine Encephalitis in children. Up to now, 17 confirmed cases with 1 death have been reported. There are 63 suspected cases of the disease under observation in their homes, and most cases are from the province of Darien.

(Source: ProMED-mail 27 June 2010)


Republic of the Congo: Acute Haemorrhagic Fever

WHO has received preliminary reports of five suspected cases, including three deaths, with Acute Haemorrhagic Fever from Mokouangonda, an isolated forest village of about 100 inhabitants in Mokoke district, Region of Sangha, in northern Republic of the Congo.  Blood samples taken from one of the suspected cases tested negative for several Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (Eloba, Marburg, Crimean-Congo, Arenavirus), and additional laboratory investigations are ongoing.

The 3 deaths were male forest hunters who presented the symptoms of nose bleeding, bloody diarrhea, cough and fever prior to deaths after a 1-2 week long hunting expedition in the Odzala national Park.

[Editor's note: Acute Haemorrhagic Fever can be attributable to Lassa Fever, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, Yellow Fever, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever, Marburg Haemorrhagic Fever, Rift Valley Fever, and other viral, bacterial or rickettsial diseases with the potential to cause epidemics.]

(Source: World Health Organization 29 June and 2 July 2010)