Caution over low levels of Ebola virus transmission; Measles update

Ebola virus (EVD) infections dropped to a new weekly low, however health agencies remain wary that the situation could quickly change – Beni is the latest hotspot and violence has flared again near Mandima. More in-depth information can be found in the Feb 4 WHO Sitrep and CMRE newsletters of Feb 2 and Feb 3.  

A JANUARY 31 Médecins Sans Frontières article outlines their current work in the western province of Kongo Central, assisting at a measles hotspot. All 26 provinces have been impacted in the outbreak and the 12-month national death toll from measles infections has now exceeded 6,100 from almost 320,000 cases (WHO data). In other measles news, Tonga recorded a further five measles cases in the week to Jan 29, all from Tongatapu and the public health emergency will continue in American Samoa until the end of this month – of the 15 measles cases reported, the most recent onset was Jan 17.

Advice for travellers

Ebola Virus disease is a severe viral haemorrhagic fever found in humans and other primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). It spreads through families and friends in close contact with blood and infectious secretions of people with obvious symptoms and, as such, presents a low risk to tourists to the affected countries. Read more about Ebola virus disease.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.