Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (24 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. The RVF is spreading rapidly in the Eastern Cape, and there are now 45 farms in the province which have tested positive for the fever.
As of 19 May 2010, the Department of Health of South Africa has reported that there were almost 200 confirmed human cases in the country. 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.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 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 16 May, 2010, worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 18 097 deaths.
For more information, please visit WHO' s website.

(Source: World Health Organization 21 May 2010)


Palestine: Avian Influenza, poultry

A suspected outbreak of Avian Influenza among poultry has been reported in West Bank, Palestine.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 and 22 May 2010)


Thailand: Dengue Fever

As of 8 May, the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand has reported 15 047 cases of Dengue Fever this year, of whom 18 died.

(Source: Ministry of Public Health, Thailand 14 May 2010)


Malaysia: Dengue Fever

As of 19 May, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia has reported 17 981 cases of Dengue Fever this year, of whom 58 died.

(Source: Ministry of Health, Malaysia 19 May 2010


Sri Lanka: Dengue Fever

In Sri Lanka, 13 500 cases of Dengue Fever with 76 deaths were reported in the first 4 months of this year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 May 2010)


Tanzania: Dengue Fever

In Tanzania, at least 17 suspected cases of Dengue Fever were reported in Dar es Salaam. Some victims had travelled to Zanzibar before falling ill.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 May 2010)


Central America and Caribbean: Dengue Fever

In Guadeloupe, an outbreak of Dengue Fever was reported. About 40 to 60 cases were reported weekly.
In Guatemala, 313 cases of Dengue Fever were reported in Escuintla department.
In Managua, capital of Nicaragua, 2 784 cases of Dengue Fever were reported.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 May 2010)


Mainland: Measles

In the Mainland, 280 cases of Measles were reported in Heihe region of Heilongjiang province. The neighbouring country Russia also reported about 50 cases of the disease.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 May 2010)


India: Malaria

In Mumbai of India, about 4 372 people were tested positive for Malaria in April and May this year. Out of which, 5 deaths were reported. The figure was more than the same period last year.

(Source: ProMED-mail 18 May 2010)


Nigeria: Lassa Fever

In Nigeria, an outbreak of Lassa Fever affecting dozens of people with 17 deaths was reported in Kebbi state.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 May 2010)


USA: Mumps

In the United States, 9 cases of Mumps have been reported in California so far this year. This outbreak was related to the outbreak reported in New York and New Jersey where more than 2 800 cases and 315 cases were reported respectively.

(Source: ProMED-mail 17 May 2010)


Haiti: Diphtheria

In Haiti, cases of Diphtheria were reported in Port-au-Prince.

(Source: ProMED-mail 19 May 2010))



Last revision date: 10 October 2012