MASTA Travel Health Alert- 11th May 2017
Media sources have reported 5 cases (1 death) of suspected anthrax in Koubia district (N), May 17.
Anthrax is a bacterial infection which can affect the skin, lungs and gastro-intestinal tract. It is generally transmitted via infected livestock. Ensure that all meat is well cooked and from a safe source.
62 suspected cases of cholera (2 deaths) have been reported from 10 provinces, Jan-Apr 17. Over 670 suspected cases (15 deaths) were reported during 2016. Over 33,000 cases have been reported since the epidemic began in 2010.
Cholera continues to be reported in all 10 departments in Haiti with over 4,800 cases (69 deaths), Jan-Apr 17. Over 41,000 cases (447 deaths) were recorded during 2016. Currently the most affected departments are Centre, Ouest, Nippes (SW), Artibonite (NW) and Nord.
Cholera is a bacterial infection usually spread through contaminated food and water in areas with poor sanitation. The risk is highest for those with limited access to safe water and medical care such as aid workers and travellers to remote areas with reported outbreaks. Symptoms include watery diarrhoea and dehydration. An oral vaccine is available for those at particular risk.
11 cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever have been reported countrywide, Jan-Apr 17. 90 cases were reported, Jan-Sept 16. The risk is thought to be highest in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is an unpleasant viral disease which is fatal in 20-35% of cases. It is usually transmitted by infected tick bites or direct contact with the blood of infected individuals. Take steps to avoid tick bites by covering exposed skin and using an effective repellent.
Over 12,000 suspected cases (15 deaths) of dengue fever have been reported by the Ministry of Health, with Honiara, Guadalcanal, Malaita, Isabel, Choiseul, Makira, Temotu, Western, Central and Renbell reporting the largest numbers, Aug 16-Apr 17.
Over 20,900 cases (8 deaths) of dengue fever have been reported, Jan-May 17. Over 122,000 cases (43 deaths) were reported during 2016.
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.
Health officials have reported 31 confirmed cases (13 deaths) of meningitis in Sinoe County (C), Montserrado County (W) and Grand Bassa County (C), May 17.
Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial infection affecting the brain usually spread by respiratory droplets (coughing/sneezing). Highest infection rates usually occur during the dry season in the ‘meningitis belt’ of sub-Saharan Africa. The risk is highest for long-stay travellers and those mixing closely with the local population. There are a number of different strains of meningococcal meningitis and the vaccine used for traveller purposes contains 4 of these (A, C, W135 and Y). This vaccination is mandatory for pilgrims travelling to Hajj or Umrah in Saudi Arabia.
Over 1,500 confirmed and suspected cases of yellow fever (240 confirmed deaths) have been reported from the states of Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Para, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Tocantins, Jan-May 17. Local vaccination campaigns have begun. The transmission area where vaccination is recommended has been extended.
Yellow fever is a viral disease, found in tropical regions of Africa and the Americas. It principally affects humans and monkeys, and is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk is highest in rural areas. 15-25% of those infected will develop severe disease with organ failure, jaundice and bleeding. An effective vaccine is available but may not be suitable for everyone. International regulations are in place to prevent the spread of the disease and as such the vaccine must be administered in a registered ‘Yellow Fever Centre’ and a certificate of vaccination issued.
Media sources have reported 37 deaths from a diarrhoeal illness in Lanny Jaya Regency (C), Dec 16-Apr 17.