Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (17 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 10 May 2010, the Department of Health of South Africa has reported a total of 186 cases, including 18 deaths. The majority of human infections result from direct or indirect contact with the blood or tissues of infected animals. There is some evidence that humans may become infected by ingesting the unpasteurized or uncooked milk of infected animals. Human infections can also result from the bites of infected mosquitoes.
As of 11 May 2010, Germany reported that the German tourist who was preliminarily diagnosed with RVF following her return from South Africa, was in fact infected with Rickettsia and not with RVF virsus.

(Source: World Health Organization 12 May 2010)

Advice for travellers 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 9 May, 2010, worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 18 036 deaths.
For more information, please visit WHO's website.

(Source: World Health Organization 14 May 2010)


Mongolia: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Mongolia, an outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza which killed 26 wild birds was reported in Sukhbaatar.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 10 May 2010)


Laos: Avian Influenza, poultry

In Laos, an outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza which killed 44 birds was reported in a farm, Vientiane. The remaining 960 birds were culled.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 14 May 2010)


Namibia: Rift Valley Fever, sheep

In Namibia, an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever which affected 10 sheeps including 7 deaths were reported in a farm with 3 300 sheeps in Hardap. The remaining 3 sheeps were culled. In the neighbouring country South Africa, human cases of the disease were reported.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 14 May 2010)


Thailand: Dengue Fever

In Thailand, 13 973 cases of Dengue Fever with 17 deaths were reported in the country so far this year. Out of which, 123 cases were reported from Phuket.

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 May 2010)


South America: Dengue Fever

In Brazil, 36 655 cases of Dengue Fever with 11 deaths were reported in Campo Grande so far this year.
In Venezuela, 26 724 cases of Dengue Fever were reported in the country so far this year. This figure represented a 2-fold increase as compared with last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 10 May 2010)


Brazil: Meningitis

In Brazil, 330 cases of meningitis including 39 deaths were reported in Bahia so far this year. Out of the fatal cases, 27 cases were caused by type C Meningococcal Meningitis.

(Source: ProMED-mail 9 May 2010)


Papua New Guinea: Cholera

A Cholera outbreak was reported in parts of Papua New Guinea. The provinces affected included Morobe and Eastern Highlands. The disease was also confirmed as present in Port Moresby.
(Source: ProMED-mail 6 May 2010)


Malawi: Measles

In Malawi, an outbreak of Measles affecting 3 026 people with 8 deaths was reported in Blantyre. Cases were also reported in other parts of the country.

(Source: ProMED-mail 11 May 2010)


USA: Pertussis

In the USA, 46 confirmed cases of Pertussis were reported in Minnesota. Most of the cases were diagnosed in students.

(Source: ProMED-mail 14 May 2010)


Russia: Poliomyelitis

Two imported cases of Poliomyelitis were reported in Russia. Both cases were 9-month-old from Tajikistan where an outbreak of the disease was reported.

(Source: ProMED-mail 14 May 2010)


Nigeria: Poliomyelitis

Nigeria reported a confirmed case of Poliomyelitis in Dange/Shuni local government Area of Sokoto State, paralyzing a 9-month-old baby. This brings the total number to 3 cases of poliomyelitis in 2010, compared with 240 for the same period in 2009.

(Source: ProMED-mail 13 May 2010)



Last revision date: 10 October 2012