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Travel Health News Digest (14 June 2010)

South Africa: Rift Valley Fever

Situation update

As of 4 June 2010, the Department of Health of South Africa has confirmed a total of 215 human cases of Rift Valley Fever and 22 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 4 Jun 2010 and ProMED-mail 5 Jun 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.
  • During the trip, travellers should be aware of the diseases, such as Malaria, Rift Valley Fever, Travellers' Diarrhoea, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Rabies.
  • 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 the following website: http://www.afro.who.int/

(Source: World Health Organization 9 June 2010)

 

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 aver