Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (10 May 2010)

South Africa: Rift Valley Fever

Situation update

There is currently an ongoing outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Free State, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape, and North West Provinces of South Africa.
As of 9 May 2010, the Department of Health of South Africa has reported a total of 183 cases, including 17 deaths. The majority of the human cases have developed mild flu-like symptoms and no complications. There is no human to human spread. Most human infections result from direct or indirect contact with the blood or tissues of infected animals. The majority of people affected are those working on farms, veterinary workers and slaughtermen.

(Source: ProMED-mail 9 May 2010)

Advice for travelers visiting South Africa:
  • Avoid close contact with animals, particularly with their tissues, body fluids or blood (especially those visiting farms or games reserves).
  • Avoid drinking unpasteurized or uncooked milk.
  • Avoid eating raw meat. 
  • Take appropriate precautions against mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets, insect repellents, and wearing light coloured clothing (long-sleeved shirts and trousers).
  • Practice good personal and food hygiene.


Mainland (Qinghai): Earthquake

More than 2,000 people were killed in the devastating earthquake that hit Yushu County, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province, on April 14. Qinghai is located in the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau with an average elevation of over 3 000 meters above sea level, and the affected Yushu County is at an altitude of 3 600 to 4 300 meters.  Travellers visiting Qinghai should beware of the environmental health risks, including High Altitude Syndrome and Extreme Weather Conditions.  Travellers are also at risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as zoonotic diseases (e.g. Plague and Rabies), and food & water borne diseases (e.g. Traveller's Diarrhoea).  Therefore travellers should always practice good personal and food hygiene, use repellent against fleas, and stay away from wild and stray animals.  Road traffic and personal safety should also be observed.


Worldwide: Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 2009

As of 2 May, 2010, worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 18 001 deaths.
For more information, please visit WHO's website.

(Source: World Health Organization 7 May 2010)


Indonesia: Avian Influenza, human

The Ministry of Health of Indonesia announced 2 new human cases of H5N1 Avian Influenza. The first victim was a 45-year-old female from East Java province.  She developed symptoms on 22 February and is now recovered. She had contact with dead chickens before falling ill. The second victim was a 4-year-old girl from Riau province.  She developed symptoms on 19 April and died on 28 April. Investigations into the source of infection were ongoing.  A total of 165 cases had been reported in Indonesia with 136 deaths.

(Source: World Health Organization 6 May 2010)


Israel: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Israel, one outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza which killed 2 birds was reported in the country. The area affected was Hadarom, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea.

(Source: ProMED-mail 7 May 2010)


Taiwan: Dengue Fever

Taiwan reported 2 more cases of indigenous Dengue Fever in Kaohsiung, bringing the total number of cases to 5 since the start of the dengue epidemic season in March 2010. Officials said the pattern of this year is similar to that of 2002. In 2002, a total of 5 336 cases of indigenous dengue fever were recorded.

(Source: ProMED-mail 3 May 2010)


Singapore: Dengue Fever

In Singapore, Woodlands has already seen 42 cases of Dengue Fever in the first 3 months of the year, exceeding its 40 cases for the whole of last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 3 May 2010)


Brazil: Dengue Fever

In Brazil, Goias now has reported 75 490 cases of Dengue Fever, an increase of 3-folds compared to the same period last year, with 26 deaths.

(Source: ProMED-mail 3 May 2010)


Australia: Melioidosis

In Australia, 72 cases of Melioidosis with 10 deaths were reported in Northern Territory so far this year. This figure represented a more than 3–fold increase as compared with the same period last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 6 May 2010)


Nepal: Strike

In Nepal, a strike which broke out in 1 May shut down most transport and businesses in Kathmandu.

(Source: World Travel Watch 5 May 2010)



Last revision date: 10 October 2012