Health Alerts
  • Angola: Yellow fever update

    The World Health Organization (WHO) yellow fever situation report dated Oct 28th revealed details of 2 new likely cases from Kwanza Sul province over the past week and updated information on the 14 probable cases reported in the month up to Oct 13th. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a new sylvatic case was reported from Sud Ubangui province; the previously identified suspected cases from Kinshasa, Kwango and the provinces of Bas Uele, Kwilu, and Lualaba remain under investigation. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Yellow fever virus is a mosquito-borne disease found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. While it can be severe, yellow fever infection is a very rare in Australian travellers. However, under the International Health Regulations (IHR), proof of vaccination may be required of any traveller entering or leaving an area at risk of yellow fever transmission. Read more about yellow fever

    Australia: Flu on decline; Imported measles in west

    The peak of the flu season passed in early September and for the most part, infections are on the decline. One exception noted in data up to Oct 14th was northern areas of the NT. Influenza A(H3N2) – covered in the 2016 vaccine - has been the predominant strain. The WHO update on global flu dated Oct 31st indicated increases in flu activity in Thailand, Laos, Cuba, French Guiana and Costa Rica. Read more
    TWO recent imported measles cases have set West Australian health authorities on alert – both had visited numerous locations in Perth while infectious. One of the travellers had become infected while in Indonesia while the other had been to Japan (via Singapore). Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Measles is a highly contagious virus and can cause serious illness in people of all ages. Most of the rising number of cases reported in Australia are linked to overseas travel - both developing and developed countries. Travelvax Australia recommends travellers check their immunisation status for measles and other childhood diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis) and mumps 6 weeks before departure. 

    Caribbean, Latin America: Zika, chikungunya updates

    Brazilian health authorities believe immunity from previous Zika infection in large numbers of the population, together with mosquito abatement measures, will help to avert another wave of illnesses during the coming summer months. The potential for new outbreaks remains however in areas with no or little previous exposure – and for other mosquito-borne infections such as dengue fever and chikungunya. Read more
    Colombia’s reporting of its Zika virus endemic phase continues: last week a further 176 suspected cases were recorded with women and the 30 to 64 years of age cohorts most affected. Read more
    The first cases of microcephaly have been reported in Bolivia as authorities warn that the virus will remain a health concern for the lowland states for some time. Read more
    The European Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (ECDC) Rapid Risk Assessment on Zika virus dated Oct 28th notes that the pace of infections is slowing in some areas (Caribbean & Central America) but not in others (Mexico, southern US). 
    Chikungunya
    Peru, Cost Rica, and Colombia reported the largest increases in cases according to the Pan American Health Organization’s latest update; however many countries have not provided new data for some time. The total number of confirmed, suspected, and imported cases across the region this year has reached 303,107. 

    Advice for travellers: Zika’s symptoms include a rash, pain in the joints, and the eye condition, conjunctivitis lasting 4-7 days. Long-term ill-effects are rare, although the joint pain may linger for weeks, even months. Like dengue and chikungunya, Zika is spread by Aedes mosquitoes which bite by day and are found in urban setting, including leafy gardens and outdoor restaurants – even in upmarket hotels and resorts. Transmission of Zika virus has also occurred during pregnancy, breastfeeding, sexually and also through blood or blood products. Travellers should take particular care to avoid being bitten just after sunrise and just before sunset, the main feeding time for Aedes mosquitoes. All travellers, but particularly pregnant women or those planning pregnancy, should seek medical advice before travel to Zika-affected areas. Read information on smartraveller (DFAT).

    Europe: West Nile still in the news

    West Nile virus infections continue to be reported in parts of Europe. The ECDC summary for the week ending Oct 28th published details of new infections in Italy, Hungary, Egypt, Serbia and Israel. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Most human WNV infections (70-80%) are mild, subclinical or asymptomatic, but around 1-in-150 cases involve potentially severe neuroinvasive disease. The virus is transmitted by Culex mosquitoes, which feed mainly around dawn and dusk. While the risk of infection for most travellers is generally low, those visiting regions reporting human cases, particularly the peak transmission season, should take measures to avoid mosquito bites

    Ghana: Cholera in Cape Coast; Rabies hike in Ashanti

    In the southern regional capital of Cape Coast more than 157 people have been hospitalised for treatment of cholera infection. Read more.
    THE 2015 official figures for human rabies exposure in Ashanti have been released and they show an increase of nearly 300 over the previous year: 1,000 (including 15 deaths) compared with 704 in 2014. These numbers don’t include the many unreported cases. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Cholera is usually spread in contaminated water. For most short-stay travellers, the risk of infection is low. Australians travelling to regions where a cholera outbreak is occurring should adhere to strict personal hygiene guidelines and choose food and beverages with care. Read more about cholera

    India: No let-up in mosquito-borne illnesses

    Dengue fever reporting shows no sign of declining in Khammam, Telangana; Kolkata, West Bengal; Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh; Kochi, Kerala; Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and Ludhiana, Punjab. And in Delhi, as chikungunya rates are on the decline after causing over 8,700 infections this season, dengue fever is on the rise again. Read more.  The city is also having to deal with hazardous levels of smog. Read more.There’s been conflicting information on the Japanaese encephalitis outbreak occurring in the state of Odisha: One news source has quoted a Collector (Chief Magistrate) of Malkangiri district as saying the death toll due to Japanese encephalitis (JE) is 24 of the 91 children infected, which is lower than previous reports of 84 deaths. Read more. Other regions reporting JE cases include Koraput, Odisha and Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

    Advice for travellers: A mosquito-borne virus, JE is usually found in many part of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China, although cases also occur in Indonesia and PNG. It is mainly found in rural areas around rice paddies where pigs, wading birds and humans live closely together, however it can occur in or near cities. The risk to short-stay travellers and those who confine their travel to urban centres is very low. The recommendations for vaccination are itinerary-specific. Read more on JE

    Nepal: Dengue lingers in south, Pokhara case

    The districts of Bardiya and Banke in the country’s south-east and Makwanpur, south of Kathmandu, have reported dengue fever cases over the past week. A further case was identified in the popular tourist area of Pokhara, but the man had travelled to India on a frequent basis and the news source did not state where he contracted the virus. Read more

    Pakistan: Twin city dengue scourge

    There has been no let-up in the dengue fever outbreak hitting the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi despite an improvement in the weather. More than 400 cases have been confirmed in the last week, taking the case count to 2,601. Read more.

    Romania: Measles toll nears 1,000

    Health authorities have announced a further 150 measles cases over the past month, bringing the annual total to 935. Five deaths have resulted to date. The infections have spread over 30 counties - worst affected are Arad, Mures, Bistrita, Timis and Cluj. Read more.

    Solomon Islands: Dengue fever outbreak extends

    The dengue fever outbreak that started in August this year has hit the east and central parts of the country the hardest – up to Oct 16th, the capital Honiara reported 983 cases while Guadalcanal province recorded 161, Malaita province 67 and one in Isabel province. Males and females have been equally affected and more infections have been seen in the under 15 years and 25-49 years age groups. Read more.

    Saudi Arabia: MERS update - 1 new case

    Another MERS case has been diagnosed and admitted to hospital in a critical condition, adding to the 6 already under treatment. The most recent case is a 41-year-old man from Buraydah, north-west of Riyadh who had direct exposure to the virus. Read more.  A WHO update of the cases reported between Sept 15 & Oct 10th can be found here

    Singapore: Dengue fever, Zika virus status

    Two high-risk dengue clusters with 10 or more cases are noted on the National Environment’s webpage as the annual case count approaches 12,500.   Data relating to Zika virus infections shows 3 known active clusters that have produced cases over the past 2 weeks – the total number of cases for the island-state stands at 444. Read more.

    Taiwan: Early flu uptick

    Health authorities are advising people to get their flu vaccinations soon as the peak of the season arrived earlier than expected. Usually late November is when flu activity increases, but last week alone nearly 55,000 people sought medical assistance for flu symptoms. Read more.

    United States of America: Arkansas mumps persists; Florida Zika cases rise again; Aftermath of Hawaii’s hep A

    THERE has been no respite in the mumps outbreak that has been ongoing in NW Arkansas for several weeks. Children from Huntsville, Rogers, and Springdale School Districts have been most affected; the total is now 856 confirmed or suspected cases. Read more
    ANOTHER 15 locally-acquired Zika virus cases have been recorded in Florida over the past 7 days as investigations continue into the limited areas of active transmission. The health department website notes details and maps of those areas under investigation. Read more
    A FURTHER note on the hepatitis A outbreak that produced over 290 infections in Hawaii (from June 2016) caused by frozen scallops served raw in sushi: a woman in her 60s has died of liver failure brought on by the hepatitis A virus contracted during the outbreak. According to the health department website, overall 79 people required hospitalisation. The case fatality rate for hepatitis A increases with age – up to 2 percent over 40 years of age. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Vaccine-preventable Hepatitis A (HAV) is one of the most common infections affecting travellers. It is a significant risk in most developing countries where sanitation and hygiene are lacking, with an estimated 1.4 million cases occurring worldwide each year. The virus is transmitted by faecally contaminated food and water, or by handling everyday items, such as crafts, money, door-handles etc. A course of hepatitis A vaccine offers immunity that’s 99%-plus effective and long lasting (20-30 years). It is also important to follow safe food and water guidelines.

    Vietnam: Sudden rise in Zika cases

    The latest case count for Zika infections has reached 23, of which 17 are in Ho Chi Minh City. This is the peak season for the Aedes mosquito, the vector of Zika but also dengue fever. Other provinces that have reported Zika cases are (Central) Dak Lak, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and (Mekong Delta) Binh Duong, Long An and Tra Vinh. Read more.

  • Caribbean, Latin America: Zika, chikungunya update

    The fortnightly Pan American Health Organization Zika update of Oct 20th notes that no new countries or territories are reporting local transmission; however 5 countries in the region have now identified sexual transmission of the virus (Argentina, Canada, Chile, Peru and the USA). Increasing case numbers have been reported from Belize, Guatemala, and Panama in Central America and Anguilla, Saint Barthelemy and Sint Maarten in the Caribbean. All other areas report declining infection rates. Read report here
    Chikungunya
    A Brazilian Health Ministry report that only included data for the year up to Sept 7th details a nearly 2,000 percent rise in deaths due to chikungunya (up to 120), compared to 2015. Most of the deaths occurred earlier in the year (February to May) – the report also noted 87 deaths due to dengue fever. The states with the highest tolls were: Pernambuco, Paraiba and Rio Grande do Norte. Data on Zika was included in the report: More than 200,000 probable cases were registered in the same period across the country. Numbers fell during the cooler months of August and September but are expected to rise again with the arrival of warmer weather. Read more (translate from Portuguese).

    Advice for travellers: Zika’s symptoms include a rash, pain in the joints, and the eye condition, conjunctivitis lasting 4-7 days. Long-term ill-effects are rare, although the joint pain may linger for weeks, even months. Like dengue and chikungunya, Zika is spread by Aedes mosquitoes which bite by day and are found in urban setting, including leafy gardens and outdoor restaurants – even in upmarket hotels and resorts. Travellers should take particular care to avoid being bitten just after sunrise and just before sunset, the main feeding time for Aedes mosquitoes. All travellers, but particularly pregnant women or those planning pregnancy, should seek medical advice before travel to Zika-affected areas. Read information on smartraveller (DFAT). 

    Fiji: Updated Zika status

    The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control webpage on current Zika transmission (i.e. within the last 3 months) places Fiji in the category of widespread transmission. Elsewhere in the region, the Solomon Islands is now within the sporadic transmission grouping. Read more.

    Haiti: Cholera toll rises

    The health ministry has confirmed a total of 1424 cholera cases in the south-western regions of Sud, Nippes and Grand Anse following destructive hurricane Matthew. Read more (translate from French) 

    Advice for travellers: Cholera is usually spread in contaminated water. For most short-stay travellers, the risk of infection is low. Australians travelling to regions where a cholera outbreak is occurring should adhere to strict personal hygiene guidelines and choose food and beverages with care. Read more about cholera

    India: Temps drop, but diseases linger

    Not all areas have had relief from the insect-borne diseases that have plagued the country over the monsoon season. Dengue fever infections continue to be reported in Ludhiana (Punjab), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Vadodara (Gujurat), Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and in the state of Mizoram
    In Delhi, the count of chikungunya cases is now at 10,210. Also there’s been no respite as yet in both Meerut (Uttar Pradesh) and Pune (Maharashtra). 
    Japanese encephalitis is continuing to take its toll: 71 deaths have been recorded in Malkangiri (Odisha) and 75 in Sukma (Chhattisgarh). 

    Advice for travellers: A mosquito-borne virus, JE is usually found in many part of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China, although cases also occur in Indonesia and PNG. It is mainly found in rural areas around rice paddies where pigs, wading birds and humans live closely together, however it can occur in or near cities. The risk to short-stay travellers and those who confine their travel to urban centres is very low. The recommendations for vaccination are itinerary-specific. Read more on JE

    Nepal: Dengue in 3 regions

    A local English language newspaper has outlined the work of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) in containing the dengue fever outbreak that has so far sickened 450 people in Chitwan, Jhapa and Kathmandu Valley. Health workers fear that without adequate control measures an epidemic could break out. Read more.

    Pakistan: Dengue program for Sindh; Khyber’s diphtheria toll rising

    Provincial authorities in Sindh are mobilising resources to tackle the current dengue fever outbreak. Karachi has the highest case count (1,510 cases) followed by Tharparkar (84) and Hyderabad (68). Read more
    In Khyber Agency’s east, diphtheria has already killed 3 children and more cases are being reported on a daily basis. Read more.

    Peru: Chickenpox surge

    The north-western regions of El Porvenir, Trujillo, Esperanza, Florencia de Mora, Victor Larco and Laredo in La Libertad province have been hit by an outbreak of varicella (chickenpox). Since the first diagnoses were made in early September, 79 cases have been identified – 21 developed complications and 5 deaths resulted. Read more. A child from Huaraz in the Ancash region also died this week after suffering complications of varicella infection. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Mainly passed from person to person by coughing or sneezing, it causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. While the illness is generally mild in children, it can be more severe in young babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Read more about chickenpox.

    Singapore: Over 12,000 dengue cases, new Zika clusters

    The National Environment Agency’s Zika information website notes 2 new clusters located in the Little India district and Jalan Ishak. These areas have produced 4 cases over the past 2 weeks; no further cases have been reported from the 2 other clusters reported last week. Overall case numbers are now at 431. Read more. After 6 weeks of falling dengue fever rates, a rise was registered once again this week as 108 new cases were identified. Read more.

    Uganda: Concern over bogus vax documents

    Extra checks have been put in place at Entebbe International Airport following an increase in detections of fake yellow fever (YF) vaccination documents. The country, which is on the World Health Organization’s list of YF affected countries, is taking strict precautions following disease outbreaks in Angola and the DR of Congo. Travellers over 1 year of age arriving in Uganda from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission are required to show proof of YF vaccination. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Yellow fever virus is a mosquito-borne disease found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. While it can be severe, yellow fever infection is a very rare in Australian travellers. However, under the International Health Regulations (IHR), proof of vaccination may be required of any traveller entering or leaving an area at risk of yellow fever transmission. Read more about yellow fever

    United States of America: UK tourists acquire Zika in Florida; Arkansas mumps numbers swell

    Several UK news sources claimed this week that 2 British tourists have contracted Zika while staying in Miami-Dade County, Florida recently. Read more. A second Miami Beach police officer has been diagnosed with Zika virus infection (read more) as the cumulative total for locally acquired cases reaches 171, according to the Florida Dept of Health website. The director of the US Centers of Disease Control & Prevention, Dr Tom Frieden, explained to a conference audience in Miami this week that Zika virus cannot be eradicated and is likely to become endemic in some countries. Birth defects and unpredictability in its transmission are just 2 of the reasons for unease, with many unknowns remaining. Read more
    IN Arkansas, suspected mumps cases have now reached 714 but so far they have been restricted to the counties of Benton, Washington, and Madison. Read more.

    Venezuela: Diphtheria in 3 states, another unconfirmed

    Diphtheria cases have now been reported from the states of Bolivar, Sucre and Nueva Esparta; plus a further case is unconfirmed in a major hospital in Caracas, as immunisation experts blame the outbreaks on low herd immunity from inadequate immunisation programmes. Read more.

    Vietnam: Mekong delta province’s first Zika case

    A 4-year-old girl from the town of Ben Luc in Long An province is the country’s 11th reported Zika case, and the first one for the Mekong Delta province. Read more.

    Zimbabwe: Water shortage brings disease risk

    This week an alert was sounded for typhoid and cholera as a drought takes hold in the country and water is rationed, forcing residents to use unsafe hygiene practices in their daily lives. Once the rains begin so is the disease threat likely to increase as ground waters become polluted with waste. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Typhoid is endemic in many developing regions, although it generally presents a low risk for short-stay travellers staying in western-style accommodation. Vaccination is generally recommended for those staying or travelling extensively in rural areas, as well as for adventurous eaters. All travellers visiting endemic areas should follow safe food and water guidelines, and adopt strict personal hygiene practices. Read more about typhoid fever.

  • Cambodia: Rabies battle plan

    Rabies vaccinations for dogs in Phnom Penh and in the province of Kandal form the first part of a strategy to tackle the deadly toll of the disease – it causes 800 human deaths in Cambodia each year, more than malaria and dengue. The campaign kicks off this week in the 2 high-risk regions and aims to cover 5 million animals in all. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Rabies is present in most countries and all travellers should be aware of the importance of avoiding contact with wild and domestic animals – especially dogs, the main source of infection. If bitten, urgent post-exposure treatment is required. Vaccination recommendations are itinerary-specific but include those travellers planning to live in, or travel extensively through, rural areas. Read more on rabies

    Caribbean, Latin America: Zika virus update

    Up to Oct 14th, Mexico has recorded a total of 4,837 Zika cases – highest numbers have been reported in the states of Veracruz (1,213 cases), Guerrero (763), Chiapas (714), Oaxaca (483) and the Yucatán (449). Read more.
    In the latest update from Colombian health authorities 81 new suspected cases were identified in the week up to Oct 8th, taking the combined total from the endemic phase (which started in the 3rd week of July) to 3,561. Women are most represented among the cases (66 percent), also people in the 33 to 64 years cohort. Read more
    The latest situation report from the World Health Organization can be found here
    Other Zika news
    New information on Zika virus transmission through sexual contact from an infected woman to a man, published in a letter to The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, showed the virus to be present in the woman’s urine samples 17 days after onset of symptoms, but undetectable at day 37. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Zika’s symptoms include a rash, pain in the joints, and the eye condition, conjunctivitis lasting 4-7 days. Long-term ill-effects are rare, although the joint pain may linger for weeks, even months. Like dengue and chikungunya, Zika is spread by Aedes mosquitoes which bite by day and are found in urban setting, including leafy gardens and outdoor restaurants – even in upmarket hotels and resorts. Travellers should take particular care to avoid being bitten just after sunrise and just before sunset, the main feeding time for Aedes mosquitoes. All travellers, but particularly pregnant women or those planning pregnancy, should seek medical advice before travel to Zika-affected areas. Read information on smartraveller (DFAT). 

    Democratic Republic of Congo: Suspected YF cases investigated; Cholera spreads along river

    Over the past 4 weeks, 16 probable yellow fever cases have come under review [Kinshasa (4 cases), Kwango (8) and one in each of the following provinces: Bas Uele, Kwilu, Lualaba and Sud Ubangi]. Four further cases, reported as being sylvatic, stemmed from Tshuapa province. In neighbouring Angola, 42 suspected cases have emerged – all are under investigation. Read the World Health Organization (WHO) situation report here
    A CHOLERA outbreak that started early this year has gradually advanced along the Congo River and is now in Kinshasa – 8,838 cases and 476 related deaths have been recorded in the affected provinces. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Yellow fever virus is a mosquito-borne disease found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. While it can be severe, yellow fever infection is a very rare in Australian travellers. However, under the International Health Regulations (IHR), proof of vaccination may be required of any traveller entering or leaving an area at risk of yellow fever transmission. Read more about yellow fever

    France: Early gastro strikes

    Cases of gastroenteritis are usually more prevalent in the cooler months, peaking in January, but most regions are currently experiencing higher rates. Most affected are: Ile-de-France, Grand Est, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Read more (translate from French).

    Haiti: Cholera surges in south

    In the week up to Oct 15 confirmed cholera cases totalled 773, with the majority of those from the storm-ravaged departments of Sud and Grand Anse. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: While the risk of infection with cholera is low for short-stay travellers, Australians travelling to regions where an outbreak is occurring should adhere to strict personal hygiene and choose food and beverages with care. For further advice on whether you should consider vaccination for your trip, call Travelvax Australia’s travel health advisory service (1300 360 164). 

    India: Lingering monsoon effects

    In a report released on the ongoing outbreak of mosquito-borne infections that have plagued Delhi this monsoon season, the running total of chikungunya cases has now soared to over 7,400 and dengue over 3,000. It’s not just Delhi that is experiencing the worst of the surge in cases, other northern regions are also affected. Read more
    Doubt has been cast over the official dengue figures for the city of Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh). The High Court is seeking an expert panel to investigate as government data gives the death toll from dengue fever infections as 9 whereas information available to the Court shows that number to be 200. Read more. Northern peripheries of Kolkata continue to be affected by dengue fever. Read more. While the monsoons are over in the north-eastern state of Jharkhand, the risk of insect-borne illnesses continues. This year’s dengue fever total is double that of last year and cases continue to be reported from all parts of the state. Read more. Dengue cases are persisting in the tricity area of Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula. Read more
    Malkangiri (Odisha state) has seen a further increase in child deaths due encephalitis this week with a rise to 56 – 20 of these from Japanese encephalitis. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: A mosquito-borne virus, JE is usually found in many part of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China, although cases also occur in Indonesia and PNG. It is mainly found in rural areas around rice paddies where pigs, wading birds and humans live closely together, however it can occur in or near cities. The risk to short-stay travellers and those who confine their travel to urban centres is very low. The recommendations for vaccination are itinerary-specific. Read more on JE

    Nepal: Chitwan’s dengue woes

    Efforts to control the ongoing outbreak of dengue fever in Chitwan are being managed by experts from the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division - the total number of cases has risen to over 125. Emphasis is being placed on wiping out mosquito breeding sites. Read more. It's thought that people travelling from Chitwan to Kathmandu valley following religious festivities may have contributed to a localised outbreak of dengue fever over the past week. Read more.

    Pakistan: Rise in tick-borne illnesses; NW malaria surge

    The expected rise in Crimea-Congo Haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) cases following Eid-ul-Azha (Festival of the Sacrifice) has emerged with as many as 75 cases in Karachi and the death toll has mounted to 10. The virus that causes the haemorrhagic fever is transmitted through tick bites and from direct contact with body fluids from infected animals or humans. Read more
    IT'S been a terrible 3 months for malaria in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 12,500 confirmed cases, over 1,000 of those suffered severe infection. Read more.

    Philippines: Cebu’s dengue ‘calamity’

    The dengue outbreak in Cebu reported in last week’s Travel Report has widened leading the provincial government to declare a state of calamity. The 5,831 cases (not including those people who sought medical assistance at private hospitals) is a record high for the province. Read more.

    Saudi Arabia: 2 more MERS cases, one death

    The details of 2 new MERS cases and the death of a patient whose infection was confirmed last week have been published by the Ministry of Health. The 2 recent cases live in Riyadh and Buraydah (north-central region) and are currently hospitalised. Read more.

    Singapore: Dengue numbers down; 3 active Zika clusters

    A further decline in dengue cases has been signalled by the National Environment Agency, however surveillance is continuing with 4 of the 23 dengue clusters considered high risk. The year’s total has now reached 12,311 cases - 1,025 more than for all of 2015. Read more.  
    FOUR more Zika infections have been recorded this week, taking the combined total to 415. Three active clusters remain while the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive cluster will remain under observation until Oct 31, but is now considered closed. Read more.

    Solomon Islands: Dengue hits capital & Guadalcanal

    A dengue fever outbreak affecting the capital Honiara and Guadalcanal has so far affected over 60 people and caused a single death. Read more.

    Somalia: Measles in southern regions

    Kismayo General Hospital is managing a measles outbreak that has struck the Lower and Middle Jubba regions. So far over 280 patients have received treatment since late September. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: A highly contagious virus, measles occurs in developing and developed countries. While generally benign, infection can result in severe illness or death. Read more about measles

    United States of America: Mumps spreads; Florida Zika update; High STI rates

    The mumps outbreak affecting Arkansas that was reported in last week’s edition has now reached 582 suspected and confirmed cases as it spreads through the counties of Benton, Madison and Washington. Read more. The US CDC has announced that the surge in cases across the country, almost 1,900 cases from 44 states, was the highest tally for 6 years. Read more
    MORE bad news on the Zika situation in Florida this week as a sampling of mosquitoes from a Miami Beach location (Miami-Dade County) that had been monitored and fumigated tested positive for the virus; and an unspecified number of units of blood donated in Florida were found to contain the Zika virus. From the Florida Department of Health Zika update page: Over the last week, 16 more locally-acquired cases have been identified in Florida residents, but the total for non-residents (elsewhere in the USA) infections remains at 19. Read more 
    THE Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released the 2015 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report this week and noted that new infections had spiked to a new peak. More screening and specialised clinics are needed to reduce the increasing rates of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and primary & secondary syphilis. Read more.

    Venezuela: Bolivar malaria surge

    In a Spanish language news report, the president of the Medical Federation of Venezuela voiced concern over the large numbers of malaria cases - 180,000 - with 80 percent of those in the state of Bolivar. In the same report, health authorities in Guyana, which borders southern districts of Venezuela, have instituted a diphtheria vaccination campaign in response to the surge in nearby cases. 

    Vietnam: Zika cases increase, warning issued; JE in Central Highlands

    The Pasteur Institute has announced 2 further Zika cases – both are women who reside in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). They take the total case numbers in the country to 7 - four from HCMC. Read more. In a separate report, a small percentage of mosquitoes tested positive for Zika virus in the coastal city of Nha Trang, a resort area popular with tourists. Read more. The Ministry of Health released a statement on Oct 18th warning that alert level 3 (or dangerous) now applies for Zika virus in the country and advising pregnant women to avoid areas with Zika infections. Read more
    LAST year there were no recorded Japanese encephalitis cases in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, but this week health authorities have announced 4 cases in districts that are near or adjacent to the borders with Laos and Cambodia. Read more.