Health Alerts
  • Australia: Bad flu season: Measles alert

    There have been a total of 193,673 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2017, at the start of 4 October. The highest rates have been in NSW, followed by QLD and SA. Influenza activity is past its peak in most States however remains high.  There has been 2.5 times the number of confirmed cases of influenza compared to last year and 370 deaths recorded in 4 states. Read more. FURTHER There have now been 25 cases of measles across NSW in 2017, including more than a dozen in western Sydney. Melbourne has recorded 11 cases in the past fortnight; most of these cases have been linked to the Collins Square office building at Docklands. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: The 2017 flu season is well underway in the southern hemisphere and Travelvax Australia recommends vaccination for all travellers over 6 months. Seasonal flu is the most common vaccine-preventable travel-related illness, posing a risk aboard aircraft, in crowded airport terminals, and at your destination. Travellers should also avoid close contact with people showing flu-like symptoms, and thoroughly washing hands using soap and water after using the toilet and before eating. Hand sanitiser is a convenient alternative if soap and water is not available. Read more about Flu.

    Canada: Mumps soaring

    There have been 252 cases of measles confirmed in Manitoba since June this year, these numbers are extremely high for a region which typically sees 0 to 5 cases per year. Authorities are unsure what is causing this spike; however one possible reason is that mumps can spread more easily when people live in overcrowded housing and in smaller, tight-knit communities. Ontario has reported more than 100 cases and now Peterborough public health is warning residents after 3 cases have been diagnosed in the area.  

    Advice for travellers: These consequences of mumps outbreaks highlight the importance of current immunisation against contagious childhood diseases, such as whooping cough (pertussis), diphtheria, rubella and measles for travel to any destination – be it a developed or developing country. Read more about mumps.

     

    Europe: Measles sky-high; UK measles success

    France has seen more than 400 people infected with measles between January to July, in comparison there were only 79 cases last year. Greece has seen 170 cases of measles so far this year, mainly in Roma children under the age of 10 years in the Attica region. In comparison the United Kingdom (UK) has effectively eradicated measles as a public health concern, once again demonstrating the power of vaccinations. The WHO announced the good news after confirming that measles has not circulated in the UK for the past 3 years. 

    Advice for travellers: Easily preventable through vaccination, measles and mumps are highly contagious diseases that can cause serious illness in people of all ages. Many cases reported in Australia are linked to overseas travel to both developing and developed countries. Travelvax Australia recommends travellers check their status for these and other routine childhood immunisations, such as diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), and polio 6 weeks before departure. Read more

     

    Kenya: Malaria not low risk

    A Malaria outbreak has killed 15 people in North Horr [in Marsabit county central northern Kenya near the Ethiopian border] in one week, with 129 others infected. This area is normally considered a low risk area, however heavy rains from July have provided a fertile ground for mosquito breeding. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: For most travellers, Africa presents a significant malaria risk. Travellers can discuss their itinerary and the need for anti-malaria medication with a trained travel health professional at their nearest Travelvax clinic. For details call 1300 360 164. Read more about malaria

    Italy: Local Chikungunya continues

    As of 26 September, 183 cases have been notified to the Lazio Region of Italy, which includes the coastal areas of Anzio and Latina as well as the city of Rome. Of the notified cases, 109 are confirmed and 74 additional cases are being investigated (all with a link to the Lazio Region). Three more confirmed cases have also been notified from other areas with a travel history to Anzio. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Chikungunya virus is spread by the same daytime-feeding mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever. There is no vaccine and preventing infection relies on avoiding mosquito bites. Apply repellent containing an active ingredient, such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about chikungunya and avoiding insect bites. Products are available through Travelvax online

    Pakistan: New wild polio; Diphtheria threat

    There have been 11 cases of wild polio in 2017 compared to 37 in 2016 globally. Pakistan reports - one new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case which occurred in Lakki Marwat district, Khyber Pakhtoon province. Read more FURTHER a serious threat has emerged for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) [formerly the North-West Frontier Province (NW)] government in Pakistan after 33 cases of diphtheria were reported from the federally administration tribal areas (FATA). Read more

    Advice for travellers: Polio is a potentially serious viral illness that is spread through contact with infected faeces or saliva. The risk to travellers is generally low. Vaccination is recommended for travel to affected regions. If at risk, adults should have a booster to the childhood series. More on polio. Diphtheria is among the childhood diseases Travelvax recommends Australians have boosted if needed 6 weeks prior to overseas travel. Read more on diphtheria.

    Panama: Pink/red eye; viral conjunctivitis

    The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Panama (Minsa) has reported some 68 867 cases of viral conjunctivitis. Most cases have been reported are Coln, San Miguelito [Panam division], Panama Oeste, and Panama Metro. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Pink/red eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common eye conditions in children and adults. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish colour. Travellers are advised to frequently wash their hands with soap and water, and not to share sunglasses or bath towels. In addition, it is recommended to see a medical professional if they have itching, pain, swollen eyelids, grit eyes, or other discomfort. Read more

    South Africa: Rabies KwaZulu-Natal

    A female holidaymaker presented at a local veterinary clinic after being bitten by a puppy on Thu 14 Sep 2017 and authorities are very keen to speak to this person, after a puppy was euthanized due to its agressive behaviour and an autopsy revealed rabies. Over the past month cases of rabies have been reported in the King Cetshwayo District (Eshowe to Richards Bay), moving south through the Ilembe District (Ndwedwe and Maphumulo) into Inanda township in Durban - and now in the greater Ballito area. This is an area which until recently had been rabies free, following a partnership between the WHO and the Bill Gates Foundation. Read more

    Advice for travellers: Rabies is a significant public health issue throughout  Africa. For most short-stay travellers the risk is generally low. Vaccination recommendations are itinerary-specific but include those travellers planning to live in, or travel extensively.  However, all Australians visiting Africa and other endemic countries 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. Read more on rabies.

    United States of America: Early northern hemisphere flu

    Alaskan authorities have confirmed more than 70 confirmed cases of influenza in September 2017, for both the North Slope and Northwest Arctic. These increased number of cases detected in northern Alaska may be indicative of an early onset to the flu season. 

    Advice for travellers: Seasonal flu is the most common vaccine-preventable travel-related illness because it is a potential risk during every stage of the journey. Whether you are travelling within Australia or overseas, Travelvax recommends vaccination for all travellers over 6 months. Vaccination in the southern hemisphere may not be protective for the northern hemisphere. Read more about Influenza.

    Saudi Arabia: New MERS-CoV

    The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) announced a new case of MERS-CoV from Tabuk, a city in northwestern Saudi Arabia near the Jordanian border. The man presented with symptoms of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) infection and is in stable condition. He had direct contact with camels, a known risk factor for contracting MERS. There have been 1,727 cases of MERS - CoV since 2012, including 699 deaths. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Experts advise that simple precautions will prevent infection – as well as colds, flu, traveller’s diarrhoea, and other illnesses. Most importantly, to prevent germs spreading, wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, after using the toilet, and before eating or touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Close contact with a sick person should also be avoided.

  • Brazil: Hep A spike; Chikungunya numbers rise again

    The state of São Paulo has seen a rise in hepatitis A infections, mirroring the increase seen in Europe and associated with men who have sex with men (MSM). The age group most represented is from 20 to 49 years of age. Read more (translate from Portuguese)
    CHIKUNGUNYA cases surged at the end of August - beginning of September, with one 14 day period bringing an increase of over 37,000 confirmed and suspected cases. Read more (Epi week 35).

    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 the oral-faecal route, such as through contaminated food and water, and with some sexual practices. 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.

    Democratic Republic of Congo: Cholera now in many provinces

    With 20 of the country’s 26 provinces now affected, the cholera outbreak that was declared on Sept 9th shows no sign of slowing; in fact the situation in over half of the provinces (11) is described as epidemic. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has set up numerous treatment centres where upwards of 17,000 people have already been treated. 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.

    Egypt: Dengue reappears

    Dengue fever has been absent from Egypt for several years, but in the news this week an outbreak of dengue fever has been declared in the Red Sea port of El Quseir. The number of infections now sits at 686 and includes almost 100 with complications. The town lies half way between the 2 better known resort towns of Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Dengue is spread by two types of Aedes mosquitoes. Both breed close to dwellings, are found in shady areas and bite mainly during the daylight hours, making them difficult to avoid outdoors. Travellers should cover up with long-sleeved tops, long pants, and shoes and socks when mosquitoes are most active. Apply repellent containing an active ingredient, such as DEET, Picaridin, or PMD when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about dengue fever and preventing insect bites.

    Europe: HIV strikes older age group

    There’s been a gradual rise in HIV diagnoses in the EU, affecting people aged over 50 who acquired the virus through heterosexual sex. A Reuters article, citing a publication in The Lancet HIV journal, states that new HIV cases in the older age group make up ‘around one in six’ of those notified in 31 EU countries and they ‘were also more likely than younger people to have advanced HIV’. As of 2015, Estonia, Latvia, Malta and Portugal reported the highest rates in the 50+ years' age group. Read more. More on HIV from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

    India: Monsoon-associated outbreaks linger

    Dengue fever continues to make its presence felt in cities and states across the nation: Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Karnataka, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. While in the state of Bihar, cases of Japanese encephalitis (JE) have topped 42 this season as doctors warn that the vaccine, which is given routinely to children in the state, is less effective when the child is malnourished. There are reports of previously vaccinated children contracting JE. 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

    Italy: Chikungunya cases top 92

    The most recent Communicable Disease Threats Report issued by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) notes that: ‘As of 21 September, Italy reported 92 autochthonous (locally acquired) chikungunya cases in the Lazio region: Anzio (70), Rome (19) and Latina (3). The media are reporting one case in the city of Formigine, Emilia-Romagna region and one case in Castelplanio city, Marche region. Both of them had a recent travel history to Anzio prior onset of symptoms.’ The government has instituted heightened surveillance and mosquito control measures. Read more (translate from Italian). Also in the ECDC report, the cluster of chikungunya cases in the department of Var in SE France has grown to 9 (2 are unconfirmed) – all live in or near the town of Cannet-des-Maures. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Chikungunya virus is spread by the same daytime-feeding mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever. There is no vaccine and preventing infection relies on avoiding mosquito bites. Apply repellent containing an active ingredient, such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about chikungunya and avoiding insect bites.

    Madagascar: Plague brings more deaths

    The death toll in the outbreak of pneumonic plague has reached 15 among nearly 100 suspected cases. Seventeen districts have reported cases, including the capital Antananarivo, but the Central Highlands has the highest count. With several months still to run in the current ‘plague season’, many more cases are expected. Read more (translate from French).

    Advice for travellers: Plague occurs annually in Madagascar, but poses a low risk to most travellers. Most cases of plague are due to bubonic plague following the bite of an infected flea carried by rats. If left untreated, infection of the lungs causes the pneumonic form of plague, a severe respiratory illness, which can progress rapidly to death. Read more about the plague.

    Mexico: Pink eye on peninsula

    An average of 70 or more (mainly) children a day are being diagnosed with conjunctivitis on the Yucatan Peninsula, according to a local news source. Authorities have implemented a public awareness campaign that promotes good personal hygiene and advises against self-treatment with antibiotic drops. The Yucatan is the location for the tourist resorts of Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Read more. More on conjunctivitis

    New Zealand: Mumps sweeps across city

    As the mumps outbreak continues its spread across Auckland, public health officials have confirmed that around 5 percent of the 440 infected individuals have required hospitalisation. A local news report quotes the area medical officer as saying that, currently, inflammation of the testicles, or orchitis, is the most common complication, however mumps-related meningitis has also been diagnosed. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: These consequences of mumps infections highlight the importance of current immunisation against contagious childhood diseases, such as whooping cough (pertussis), diphtheria, rubella and measles for travel to any destination – be it a developed or developing country. Read more about mumps.

    Pakistan: Measles’ deadly toll

    An outbreak of measles in Umerkot, Sindh Province, has proved devastating for the children of a colony of Mithoo nomadic people, with large numbers requiring hospitalisation and at least 10 deaths reported. 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. 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.

    Panama: Dengue surge in east

    The province of Bocas del Toro on the Atlantic coast has reported the highest dengue figures this year. Nearly 2,400 cases have been recorded nation-wide, however the incidence of dengue fever in Bocas del Toro is 4 times higher than the rest of the country. Read more (translate from Spanish).

    United Kingdom: Bad flu season forecast

    Australia’s severe flu season could be a strong indicator of the upcoming influenza season in the UK, according to the chief executive of NHS England. The 2017 total for Australia is 184,438 laboratory confirmed cases and there are still some weeks to run until the end of the season. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Seasonal flu is the most common vaccine-preventable travel-related illness because it is a potential risk during every stage of the journey. Whether you are travelling within Australia or overseas, Travelvax recommends vaccination for all travellers over 6 months. Read more on influenza.

    United States of America: Mumps in 2 states; More hepatitis A notifications

    Hawaii’s mumps outbreak continues: Four islands have reported cases (Oahu 334 cases, Kauai 32, Hawaii 17 & Maui 1). According to the state Dept of Health website, approx. 60 percent of the 384 cases have been adults aged 18 years or older. Read more. The 13 mumps cases reported this year in Alaska is a big increase on the 3 recorded over the last 5 years (all of which were contracted elsewhere) and the highest figures in decades. Read more.
    CALIFORNIA is not the only state with a spike in hepatitis A cases. A Michigan-based news source states ‘from Aug. 1, 2016 to Sept. 15, 2017 there have been 319 confirmed cases of hepatitis A, including 14 deaths. Of those cases, nearly 86 percent have been hospitalized.’ Factors involved in the spread of the infection include sexual behaviours, illicit drug use and household member contact. Read more.

    Vanuatu: Prepped for Games

    Early in December Vanuatu will be hosting the 10th Pacific Mini Games when athletes and visitors will be arriving from Australia, New Zealand and many Pacific Islands & territories. A health guidelines factsheet has been published for those planning to attend the Games; it includes the recommendation to consult a medical practitioner regarding the need for routine and recommended vaccinations. Some emphasis is placed on avoiding insect bites as prevention against contracting dengue fever and malaria. Read more.

    Venezuela: More disease woes

    Three years after the country eliminated measles, it’s back. Guyana City in the state of Bolivar is the focus of an outbreak that has produced 38 confirmed cases and another 88 suspected. Read more. Doctors have held a demonstration at the local WHO office in an effort to get more resources to help fight off the resurgence of diseases such as diphtheria and malaria. Read more.

  • Australia: High flu activity persists; Sydney Hep A updated; Measles import

    The current flu season, which is still producing high levels of activity in some states and regions, is mainly being driven by the A(H3N2) and B strains, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) update. Also noted in the update, South Asia (in particular Bhutan), southern China and some SE Asian countries (Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos) are experiencing high rates of flu-like illnesses. 
    FURTHER information on the hepatitis A outbreak in Sydney reported 2 weeks ago. With the number of infected individuals at 18 as of Sept 15th, the Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, has advised that among the 18 cases are, ‘eight who are men who have sex with men, with at least four having visited public sex venues in Sydney while infectious.’ And ‘Men who have sex with men are a high risk group for hepatitis A infection, and vaccination is the best protection against the disease.’ Read more.
    OF the 3 measles cases reported by Victoria’s health department this week, one infection was contracted in Romania. Several EU countries are experiencing an extensive outbreaks, but Romania is the largest, with over 9,000 cases and 34 deaths since January, 2016. 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. 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.

    Costa Rica: Malaria imports spark warning

    Authorities have issued a warning on the increased risk of malaria transmission. More frequent travel between Costa Rica and neighbouring highly endemic countries has led to several cases in Matina (province of Limón), Sarapiquí (Heredia) and Pital (Alajaula). The situation is unusual as over the past 5 years there have been no reported cases of locally acquired malaria. Read more (translate from Spanish). More on malaria.

    Cyprus: Rare infections in north

    The latest European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) weekly bulletin reports on 3 cases of locally acquired malaria (Plasmodium vivax) originating from the northern district of Kyrenia (Esentepe). All 3 (2 were related) had stayed in the same area in August. The ECDC report gives further details on introduced or airport acquired malaria infections in other EU countries, plus local cases in Greece. Read more.

    Greece: Measles count tops 100

    While other European countries have a higher case count of measles infections, there is still concern over the 100 cases reported in Greece. An epidemiologist is quoted as saying that the vast majority of cases were in nationals and not immigrants, and the virus ‘could very well spread to areas throughout the country.’ Read more.

    India: Dengue by state

    Late September is the end of the monsoon season, however the effect of the rains brought by the monsoon winds will continue to affect the country for some weeks after. Dengue fever updates from the past week have included reports from: New Delhi, Punjab, Telangana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.

    Advice for travellers: Dengue is spread by two types of Aedes mosquitoes. Both breed close to dwellings, are found in shady areas and bite mainly during the daylight hours, making them difficult to avoid outdoors. Travellers should cover up with long-sleeved tops, long pants, and shoes and socks when mosquitoes are most active. Apply repellent containing an active ingredient, such as DEET, Picaridin, or PMD when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about dengue fever and preventing insect bites.

    Italy: Chikungunya moves to Rome

    The 3 locally acquired cases of chikungunya has risen to at least 17 – 10 in the area of Anzio, a further 6 in Rome itself (a family with no travel to Anzio or overseas) and one more ‘one for which the location was not determined’. A WHO update issued on Sept 15th recommends: ‘Basic precautions should be taken by people within and travelling to this area of Italy. These include wearing long sleeves and pants, use of repellents, and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering. Clothing which minimizes skin exposure to the day-biting vectors is advised. Repellents can be applied to exposed skin or to clothing in strict accordance with product label instructions. Repellents should contain DEET, IR3535, or (P)Icaridin.' Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Chikungunya virus is spread by the same daytime-feeding mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever. There is no vaccine and preventing infection relies on avoiding mosquito bites. Apply repellent containing an active ingredient, such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about chikungunya and avoiding insect bites.

    Laos: Dengue surges in capital, central province

    The rainy season has, as expected, caused a rise in dengue fever infections, with as many as 6,500 cases recorded between June and mid-September, nearly 2,500 of those in the capital, Vientiane. Read more .

    Madagascar: Plague hits 2 areas

    Since late August, 28 suspected pneumonic plague cases have been reported, all linked to a single case which originated in the Central Highlands. Public health responses are being instituted, as outlined in a WHO weekly bulletin, which also states that ‘the outbreak is localized in Tamatave (or Toamasina) and Faratsiho in Vakinankaratra Region (100km southwest of Antananarivo).’ Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Plague occurs annually in Madagascar, but poses a low risk to most travellers. Most cases of plague are due to bubonic plague following the bite of an infected flea carried by rats. If left untreated, infection of the lungs causes the pneumonic form of plague, a severe respiratory illness, which can progress rapidly to death.

    Nepal: Circuit stop reports Hep A

    Testing has confirmed 8 cases of hepatitis A in the municipality of Besisahar (Lumjung district), east of Pokhara. The area forms a starting point for trekkers doing the Annapurna Circuit. Faecal contamination of food or water is believed to be the cause of the infections. 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.

    Nigeria: YF in west; Cholera risk in Borno

    Two cases of yellow fever (both young girls) have been identified in the western state of Kwara; the diagnosis was confirmed on Sept 12th. Local and international agencies are planning public awareness and vaccination campaigns in the area of Ifelodun Local Government Area. The YF vaccine is included in the national schedule in Nigeria, given at 9 months of age. Read more .
    MILLIONS of people in the NW state of Borno are at risk of contracting cholera as an outbreak that started in August continues. Over 2,000 suspected cases have been reported resulting in 44 deaths, according to the WHO. Read more. More on cholera.

    Advice for travellers: Yellow fever virus is a mosquito-borne disease found in tropical and subtropical areas in Central/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

    South Africa: NE rabies vax campaign

    A rabies vaccination campaign targeting dogs is planned for the province of KwaZulu-Natal after a young child died following a bite from an infected dog. The 6-month program will cover the area from Richards Bay south to Durban. 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

    Sri Lanka: Dengue vector targeted

    National Mosquito Control Week kicks off next week, aimed at curbing the widespread dengue outbreak that has thus far caused nearly 400 deaths – two-thirds in women – and more than 151,000 cases. The Western Province has been hardest hit, with ‘over 50 percent of dengue deaths and patients,’ according to a health official. Read more.

    United States of America: Californian Hep A outbreak continues

    The case count in the hepatitis A outbreak affecting mainly homeless people in San Diego County has reached 421, with 16 related deaths. Another local county, Santa Cruz, has reported cases and this week, LA County health authorities announced they had 10 cases, at least 2 of those were homeless and had acquired the infection locally. Read more.

    French Polynesia: Severe flu season

    Wallis and Futuna have a combined population of 15,500 so 600 influenza cases in 2 weeks is being described as an epidemic on the island of Wallis. Influenza A strain is quoted as being responsible for the sudden rise in cases early this month, however the sub-type was not specified. Read more (translate from French).