Blog: News Travels

Subscribe to our Rss Feed

With over 30 years at the forefront of travel health, MASTA is proud to bring you alerts and topical information from across the globe. Make MASTA your one stop shop for expert advice, leaving you concentrate on what is most important… enjoying your travels.

MASTA Travel Health Alert- 24th August 2016

New Zealand

Media sources report many cases of cryptosporidiosis from around Hawke's Bay (E coast of North Island), Mar 13. Contamination of the local water supply is thought to be the main source of infection. This parasite can cause diarrhoea and vomiting

Cryptosporidium is a parasite infection often transmitted via water contaminated with faeces such as in swimming pools. Chlorination does not kill the spores. Extra care should also be taken with hand washing and personal hygiene.  


Over 76,270 probable cases (11 deaths) of dengue fever have been reported from 21 provinces, Jan-Jul 16. 3,935 probable cases were reported in 2015.


Over 27,200 probable cases (28 deaths) of dengue fever have been reported, Jan-Jul 16. Regions most affected: Lambayeque (NW), La Libertad (N), Ayacucho (S), Piura, and Loreto (W). 39,440 probable cases (50 deaths) were reported in 2015, which was more than double from 2014.


Dengue outbreaks have been reported in many regions including Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Central Luzon, Western Visayas and Soccsksargen, Jun-Aug 16. Over 84,000 suspected cases (372 deaths) have been recorded countrywide, Jan-Aug 16. 200,415 suspected cases were reported in 2015.

Puerto Rica

Over 21,300 probable cases of dengue fever have been reported, Jan-Jul 16. 1,847 probable cases were reported during 2015.

Dengue fever is a viral infection spread by day-time biting mosquitoes. It is widespread across over 110 countries with large outbreaks reported in many regions including South East Asia and South/Central America. Dengue fever commonly causes flu-like symptoms including fever, joint pain and rash. Severe forms of the disease are rare in travellers but can lead to excessive bleeding and organ failure.


Media sources report a marked increases in cases of Hepatitis C from the Punjab region (N), Jul-Aug 16.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection which can cause serious liver disease. It is mainly spread by contact with infected blood or blood products. (e.g. contaminated needles/ syringes, skin piercing equipment). It is rarely transmitted sexually.


Health authorities report a continuing increase in malaria, with over 125,000 cases, Jan-Jun 16. Cases have been reported from over half of Venezuelan states, though 80% are from Bolivar State (S), with others in Amazonas (S), Apure (W) and Falcon (N).

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease common in many tropical countries. It is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes which bite between dusk and dawn. Symptoms can vary and include fever and a flu-like illness. More serious forms can be fatal and progress to organ failure and coma within 24 hours of symptoms first appearing.


The first cases of Zika Virus have been reported, Aug 16.


Cases of Zika virus infection, locally acquired via mosquito bites have been reported from Florida State (S), Miami-Dade County has been most affected, Pinella County reported its first case, Aug 16.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is transmitted by daytime biting mosquitoes and is similar to dengue fever. Symptoms include rash, conjunctivitis, muscle or joint pain. Neurological complications have been reported. There is consensus that ZIKV infection during pregnancy may cause some birth defects such as microcephaly. There is a low risk of sexual transmission of the disease. Countries/territories/areas with active or past Zika transmission have now been classified into 4 risk categories: high, moderate, low and very low, based on the current and potential epidemiological situation. These categories ensure travel advice is appropriate and proportionate to the defined ZIKV transmission risk.See current national advice from Public Health England for more details, including that for pregnant travellers, who are advised to postpone non-essential travel to high risk countries and also regarding condom use for preventing sexual transmission of the disease.

Tags:Zika, malaria, Dengue, Hepatitis C