Travel Health News

Travel Health News Digest (28 June 2010)

South Africa: Rift Valley Fever

Situation update
As of 25 June 2010, the Department of Health of South Africa has confirmed a total of 221 human cases of Rift Valley Fever and 25 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 25 June 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 WHO's website.

(Source: World Health Organization 21 May 2010)


Worldwide: Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 2009

As of 20 June, 2010, worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 18 209 deaths.
For more information, please visit WHO's website.

(Source: World Health Organization 25 June 2010)


Russia: Avian Influenza, bird

Russia has reported an outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza on a lake in the Republic of Tyva where 367 wild birds were found dead.

(Source: World Organisation for Animal Health 25 June 2010)


Thailand: Rabies, human

Thailand has cautioned the public to beware of the current Rabies spread in the country after 13 fatal human cases from 7 provinces have been confirmed in the first 5 months of 2010. Of which, 12 cases were bitten by domestic dogs while 1 case was bitten by a stray cat.
Among 13 fatal cases, 6 were from Bangkok, 2 were from the western province of Kanchanaburi, and the rest were from the other 5 provinces. Hence, Bangkok and Kanchanaburi have been classified as dangerous zones for the spread of rabies.

(Source: ProMED-mail 23 June 2010)


Russia: Tick-borne Encephalitis

The 1st case of Tick-borne Encephalitis in 2010 has been confirmed in Omsk Oblast of Russia. A total of 3 264 people have sought medical attention as a consequence of tick bites so far this year, of whom 903 were children. 304 cases of tick bite were recorded in the city of Omsk, and the rest in rural districts.

(Source: ProMED-mail 26 June 2010)

[Editor's note: Tick-borne Encephalitis is a viral infection. It is transmitted by bite of infective ticks or by consumption of infected milk. The incubation period ranges from 7 to 14 days. Patients may present with fever, malaise, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, confusion, and paralysis. In general, the mortality rate is 1 to 2 percent. Travellers should adopt measures similar to the protection against mosquitoes to avoid tick bites and avoid consumption of unpasteurised milk.]



Last revision date: 10 October 2012