Fever, malaria outbreaks in northern states

An outbreak of a Rift Valley fever in Northern State has had the greatest impact on Merowe and Ed Debba residents and caused thousands of deaths and miscarriages in their livestock. Disagreement exists between local and state actors on the extent of the outbreak which as sickened at least 1,490 people and killed at least 63. Read more. In the neighbouring state of North Darfur, floods have given rise to intensive mosquito-borne disease activity - up to 60,000 people are now said to be infected with malaria. Meanwhile, across the western border into Chad, the chikungunya outbreak in the eastern provinces of Ouaddai, Biltine and Sila has shown some decline following the gradual introduction of mosquito fumigation systems and the distribution of insecticide-treated nets. The WHO has also expressed some concern in its measles risk assessment for Chad, finding a ‘very high risk of transmission during the next measles season, expected in the fourth quarter of 2020 to June 2021’ due to lapses in disease monitoring and vaccine coverage/funding.

Advice for travellers

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an acute viral disease that typically infects domesticated herd animals. It is generally found in eastern and southern Africa where sheep and cattle are raised, as well as in West Africa, Madagascar, and more recently Saudi Arabia and Yemen. People are infected after exposure to blood, body fluids, or the tissue of RVF-infected animals, or from the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus presents a low risk to travellers, but is another reason to use personal insect repellent and take other steps to minimise insect bites in places where it occurs. Read more about RVF.

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.