Health Alerts
  • American Samoa: Dengue warning issued

    Children with symptoms of dengue fever make up most of the presentations at a local hospital, leading authorities to issue warnings to parents to be on the alert. 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.

    Brazil: Amazon mumps cases

    In the capital of the Amazonas region, Manaus, first-time reporting of mumps cases has seen as many as 230 infections in the past 5 months, with schoolchildren most affected. According to the local news report, the cases came from 19 different locations within the city. 

    Advice for travellers: This outbreak of mumps highlights 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.

    China: Local dengue cases now 6

    In Macau, authorities have confirmed that two adjacent buildings in the area of Praia do Manducoare are the sites of the 6 recent cases of locally transmitted dengue fever. Read more.

    Europe: Measles deaths in 6 countries

    In an update on the measles outbreak ongoing across the region, the European Centre for Disease Control has advised that the 2017 death toll caused by the vaccine-preventable disease has reached 27: ‘Romania (20), Italy (3), Bulgaria (1), Germany (1), Portugal (1) and France (1)'. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Measles occurs in developing and developed countries and unvaccinated travellers are at particular risk, both in transit and during their stay. 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 at least 6 weeks before departure. Read more about measles.

    France: Another chikungunya case in SE

    A second chikungunya case has been identified in the south-eastern department of Var, a man who was a neighbour of the first case (noted in Aug 17 health alerts). Both men live in Cannet-des-Maures, a town 40km inland from Saint-Tropez. A map showing the distribution of the chikungunya vector, Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, in many areas of southern Europe can be found here. 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.

    India: Floods add to disease woes

    The floodwaters that have caused much death and destruction across northern India and Nepal will only worsen the current situation in Bangladesh. ReliefWeb recently reported that ‘A third of Bangladesh is under water. The situation is expected to worsen, as swollen rivers carry the flood water from upstream India into the low-lying and densely populated Brahmaputra delta.’ At least 800 people have already lost their lives during the floods across the region and disease outbreaks are threatening. 
    The incidence of dengue fever and malaria climbed sharply in early August in in Maharashtra state’s capital, Mumbai, with over 550 malaria cases. Meanwhile dengue fever reports are coming in from the states of BengalaruMadhya Pradesh KarnatakaTamil Nadu and West Bengal. A trip to India for some Korean students culminated with 5 of them quarantined in hospital on their return home after they were diagnosed with typhoid fever. Their itinerary took in Agra, New Delhi and other northern centres during mid to late July. Read more. This year the influenza season has been particularly severe, with over 22,000 cases recorded and nearly 1,100 associated deaths – the states with the most fatalities are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and Rajasthan. 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 against typhoid is itinerary specific, but is generally recommended for those staying or travelling extensively in rural areas, as well as for adventurous eaters. All travellers visiting endemic areas, including the Indian subcontinent should follow safe food and water guidelines, and adopt strict personal hygiene practices.

    Nepal: Chitwan typhus spike

    While also contending with monsoon season floods and the associated disease risks (see India posting), health authorities have announced a rise in cases of scrub typhus in Chitwan, a SW lowland area known for its national park. Over 100 cases have been reported in the past month alone. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Scrub typhus is a bacterial disease passed on to humans by mites that normally live on rodents infected with the disease. Most travel-acquired cases occur when travellers camp, hike, or go river rafting in rural areas in endemic countries. Scrub typhus occurs throughout the Asia-Pacific region, where more than a million cases occur annually. There is no vaccine or prevention medication: avoidance hinges on minimising insect bites. Due to the disease’s 5- to 14-day incubation period, travellers often experience symptoms (fever, headache, malaise, and sometimes nausea, vomiting and a rash) after their trip. Read more about rickettsial diseases.

    New Zealand: Mumps lingers in City of Sails

    The Auckland Regional Public Health Service website puts a major cause of the ongoing mumps outbreak as the low rates of vaccination in some areas. In the latest update posted on Aug 18th, the service announced there had been a total of 254 suspected & confirmed cases. Read more.

    Oman: Adults due for measles vax

    Adults aged 20 to 35 years will be targeted in the latest round of measles vaccinations as the country aims to halt the spread of the viral illness – 85 cases so far this year. Read more.

    South Sudan: Malaria death toll doubles

    Malaria cases and deaths have spiked this year – the figure of 4,073 deaths reported since February is more than double last year’s total. Disruption to aid supplies caused by the ongoing civil war is a likely contributing factor in the 900,000 malaria cases reported 2017. 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

    Sri Lanka: Dengue count tops 140,000

    Over 40,000 more dengue cases were reported during the month of July, and to date in August, the figure tops 14,000. Colombo, Gampaha and Kandy have recorded the highest numbers, with the national total on Aug 22nd at over 141,000. Read more.

    United States of America: Papaya behind outbreak

    Over 170 Salmonella cases from across 21 states have been linked to papaya imported from a farm in the Mexican state of Campeche. Several strains of the bacteria have been identified in the outbreak that has so far caused one death and 58 admissions to hospital. Investigations are continuing. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Salmonella bacteria are typically found in food, such as poultry, that cause diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. Illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment, although diarrhoea may be so severe as to require hospital treatment. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk of severe illness. As there is no vaccine to prevent salmonellosis, it is best to avoid raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat. Read more.

    Guyana: YF infection after 19 years

    Authorities have confirmed yellow fever as the cause of death earlier this month in a resident who had travelled to two areas in French Guiana: the Oyapock valley (on the border and Brazil) and a commune in the country’s central region, Saint-Élie. Investigations are still underway to determine where the infection was contracted. Read more from Flutrackers

    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

    Saudi Arabia: Dengue near Hajj sites

    Dengue fever has been reported in the town of Bahrah, about 50kms from Mecca. There have been approximately 100 suspected and confirmed cases to date, with authorities quick to initiate control measures. The annual Hajj pilgrimage starts in Mecca later this month. Read more.

  • Australia: Heavy flu season still to peak; Mumps in tropical north

    Confirmed cases of the flu have risen over the 75,000 mark this year as the season heads to be the worst since 2009, and in NSW, the worst on record. NSW has the highest case count (35,315), followed by QLD with 19,662. Professor Paul VanBuynder, the Chair of the Immunisation Coalition, advised this week that ‘It's never too late to vaccinate. We urge anybody who hasn't had a vaccine yet to go out and do it.’ Read more.
    CAIRNS and its hinterland have experienced a rise in mumps cases over the past month, with 14 cases reported, believed to be associated with a much larger outbreak (134 cases) affecting the North West Hospital and Health Service region (covering rural communities in NW QLD & the Gulf of Carpentaria). Read more from Qld Health.

    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.

    Brazil: Yellow fever update for Rio state

    A Portuguese language news post has provided an update of the yellow fever situation in the state of Rio de Janeiro – since June, a further 3 cases and one death have occurred, while over 6.6 million doses of yellow fever vaccine have been given across 92 municipalities. Read more.

    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

    Caribbean, Latin America: Region’s chikungunya figure now tops 2.5 million

    A smaller rise in the number of chikungunya cases was recorded this week, with no update from the country with the highest burden, Brazil. Increases came from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Guadeloupe and Martinique, taking the year’s total to 141,419 and the cumulative figure since the outbreak began in the region in 2013 to over 2.5 million. 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.

    Fiji: Aid to reduce dengue burden

    An injection of funds from Australia for a ‘pilot program’ is aimed at reducing the incidence and death toll from mosquito-borne infections such as dengue fever, Zika virus & chikungunya in Fiji and other island nations of the region. Up to the end of June this year, Fiji recorded over 2,200 dengue fever cases and 6 related deaths. 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.

    France: Local chikungunya case in south

    One case of locally-acquired chikungunya infection has been identified this month in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The man had not travelled out of the department of Var – west of Marseilles – so his is now the second occurrence in that region since 2 cases were detected in Fréjus in 2010. Read more (translate from French).

    India: Rains add to disease woes

    The early arrival of the rainy season and the delay in insect fogging has led to a steady rise in cases of insect-borne diseases in New Delhi. Other cities reporting outbreaks include Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and Pune (Maharashtra). Hundreds of children in the states of Assam and Uttar Pradesh have succumbed to encephalitis, some infections were caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus; however they are not the only states reporting cases and deaths - Bihar, Manipur, Odisha and West Bengal are also affected. 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: Measles outbreak persists

    The ongoing outbreak of measles will be an important topic for discussion at an upcoming meeting of health officials in Rimini - a further 86 cases were reported in the first 7 days of August. Over half of all cases (56%) are in the 15 to 39 years age group. Read more (translate from Italian). Italy is just one of 5 European countries (also Belgium, France, Germany and Romania) which are listed in a US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) travel advisory issued last month. 

    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 at least 6 weeks before departure.

    Malawi: Rabies toll climbs in NW

    Chitipa, a northern district near the borders with Tanzania and Zimbabwe has seen a surge in rabies cases, causing 2 recent deaths and up to 10 hospitalisations daily. A local veterinarian reports he sees up to 19 cases of rabies in dogs each day. 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

    Nepal: Flooding affects large swathe of country

    Over a third of all districts have been hit by flooding – the worst in 15 years. Up to 50 people have lost their lives and many areas have been isolated with no access possible. More heavy rains are expected and with them the threat of disease. Read more.

    Samoa: Dengue likely cause of fever spike

    At least 25 suspected cases of dengue fever and 2 associated deaths have been reported according to a local blog, which goes on the say that an alert has been issued by the health department. Several cases have required hospitalisation in the capital, Apia. Read more.

    Somalia: Dual disease threat

    Cholera outbreaks are underway in several countries of the Horn of Africa, but Somalia is also having to battle with measles after nearly 15,000 cases were recorded in the first 6 months of this year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested international assistance to deal with the crisis, stating ‘Malnutrition, mass displacement as a result of the drought, and lack of access to clean water and sanitation have created ideal conditions for infectious disease outbreaks.’ 

    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

    South Africa: Vax campaign for Western Cape district

    An isolated outbreak of diphtheria, the third in 3 years for the country, has been reported in Helderberg, an outer district of Cape Town. One child has died, 2 siblings are showing signs of infection and 2 others have tested positive for the bacteria. Tests are being carried out on other contacts and immunisation/antibiotic therapy offered to the community. Read more. More on diphtheria

    Vietnam: Dengue figures surge over 80,000

    Dengue fever infections are surging across the country, climbing over the 80,000 mark and leading to the deaths of 24 people. The largest cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have between them recorded over 30,000 cases, with more expected during the peak rainy season that lasts until at least October. Read more.

    Zimbabwe: Capital’s malaria rise

    Cases of malaria have increased almost 6-fold this year in areas of the capital Harare. Two outer suburbs, Caledonia and Hatcliffe, have been particularly hard hit. Public health measures including the distribution of bed nets and insecticide fogging have been rolled out in response. 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

  • Australia: Imported measles risk to WA students

    Measles vaccinations have been offered to unimmunised students at a school in Perth, after one pupil returned from a holiday in Europe infected with the highly contagious virus. According to a news article, around half of the 200 enrolled students are unvaccinated, leading to fears of a widespread outbreak in that and associated communities. The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) update on the ongoing measles outbreak reveals that in the first 7 months of this year, Romania reported 6,378 cases (& 34 deaths since Jan 2016), while Italy had 4,001 cases and the UK, 962. 

    Advice for travellers: Measles is a highly contagious virus and can cause serious illness in people of all ages. Most of the 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.

    Cape Verde: Concerning rise in malaria

    The capital of Praia recorded nearly 50 cases of malaria in July, more than for all of 2016. Of some concern, the area is categorised as low risk for malaria transmission and the wet season when cases are more likely hasn’t commenced yet. The World Health Organization (WHO) regional office is assisting in investigations and support. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: 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

    French Polynesia: First dengue death of 2017

    A 7 year-old boy who contracted dengue fever while visiting the island of Moorea has died of associated complications, the first such death this year. He is one of the 25+ dengue cases the territory reported in late July – mainly among children. A French language news report identifies the locations of confirmed cases as Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, Rimatara and Tahiti. 

    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.

    Guatemala: Typhoid strikes north

    No source has been identified as yet in an outbreak of typhoid in the town of Dolores in northern Petén Province. Two deaths from 60 cases have now been confirmed, as testing of the water supply and other potential sources of infection continues. Dolores lies approx. 120kms to the south of the ancient Mayan site of Tikal. Read more (translate from Spanish). 

    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 itinerary specific, but 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.

    India: Monsoon-related diseases climb

    Authorities in the city of Tiruppur in western Tamil Nadu are cracking down on residents who fail to eradicate dengue mosquito breeding grounds around their homes by cutting off their water supply. As many as 65,000 households were deemed to be risk areas and subject to the ruling which aims at reducing dengue fever rates. Read more. The state of Karnataka and the city of Delhi are reporting dengue spikes, while cases of Japanese encephalitis in Assam have exceeded 420, with 58 deaths. Water-borne infections are also on the rise: cholera in Kerala and typhoid fever in northern Andhra Pradesh.

    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

    Cote D'ivoire: Dengue fever hits capital

    The rainy season is in full swing, mosquito breeding sites are abundant and the local population lacks awareness of the dangers of dengue fever. A World Health Organization (WHO) risk assessment of the dengue outbreak that began in late April is moderate on a national level. Most cases have been in the capital, Abidjan. Read more from the WHO. 

    Japan: Ticks on the move

    Western parts of the country have reported higher rates than usual of tick-borne infections, with Mie Prefecture recording 35 of the nation’s 118 cases of Japanese spotted fever. Spread of the infecting ticks from the central and western regions to the east has also been noted. The more serious severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) had sickened 51 people by late July and killed 5, one through a bite from an infected cat. Many of the tick bites apparently went unnoticed until the onset of symptoms. Other tick-borne infections that have been reported in Japan include Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: SFTS causes symptoms including high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, and multiple organ failure. The virus has a 6%–30% case-fatality rate and there is no effective virus. The vector ticks are found in 23 prefectures, ranging from Hokkaido in the north to the island of Kyushu in the south. 

    Laos: Dengue in central, southern provinces

    Dengue fever is ramping up across the country, although the capital Vientiane has been most affected. As many as 5,000 cases & 7 deaths have been reported so far this year, 2,000 of those cases since early July. Read more.

    Malaysia: Diphtheria kills one; A sixth rabies victim

    A young boy who had not completed age-appropriate vaccinations died of diphtheria in late July and two close contacts are being treated after showing mild symptoms of the infection. Local health authorities in Sandakan are currently vaccinating the rest of the household of 18. This news comes in the same week as a report from Singapore outlining another death from diphtheria, this time a Bangladeshi worker who had not been out of the city-state during the incubation period. Two contacts who have shown symptoms of the infection have been isolated in hospital and other contacts are being treated with antibiotics. Read more. More on diphtheria.
    THE sixth rabies case in the current outbreak, a boy aged 7, is in a critical condition in hospital - he was bitten by a dog in mid-July and his condition deteriorated 2 weeks later. His village in Serian, Sarawak is now on the list of 23 rabies-affected areas. 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 is normally recommended for those staying for more than a month, especially travellers planning to live in, or travel extensively through, rural areas; however the final recommendation is itinerary-specific. Read more on rabies.

    Nigeria: No let-up in Lassa; Measles alert in east

    Two people died of Lassa fever this week in Lagos and cases continue to be reported from 5 states: (Bauchi, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, and Plateau. A WHO assessment of the situation points out the ‘reports of increasing frequency of Lassa fever cases outside the usual season and from non-endemic areas’ as requiring concerted effort on the part of the government and international agencies, together with rodent control measures from the local population. Read more.
    TARABA state, which borders Cameroon, has reported a measles outbreak in 10 districts affecting 140 - for the most part unvaccinated children under 5. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in West Africa, notably in Nigeria, Guinea, and Liberia. As many as 300,000 cases and 5000 deaths occur each year. However, Lassa is a remote risk for travellers. Rodents shed the virus in urine and droppings and it is spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of an infected person. Read more about Lassa fever.

    Saudi Arabia: Hajj health requirements, MERS precautions

    Smartraveller has issued a bulletin on travel to the Hajj, with many Australians expected to take part in the pilgrimage that draws around 3 million visitors to the kingdom. The advice includes a link to the Ministry of Health website which provides all vaccination requirements, including the mandatory ACWY meningococcal meningitis vaccine. As cases of MERS Co-V continue to be reported, Smartraveller advice also takes in the need to follow strict hygiene measures, avoid contact with sick people and any camels/camel products and lastly, seek medical advice immediately if unwell. 

    Advice for travellers: Meningococcal meningitis is an acute bacterial disease transmitted from person-to-person through close (kissing, sharing eating utensils) or extended contact. Risk factors include extensive travel in crowded conditions or extended contact with local people in crowded places. In North Africa’s ‘meningitis belt’, meningitis outbreaks occur in the dry season (Dec-April) and just prior to the rainy season (May-June). If you plan to visit this region, call Travelvax Australia’s free travel health advisory service (1300 360 164 - toll-free for landlines) for further advice. Read more about Men. meningitis.

    Thailand: Flu activity high; Rabies risk in Hua Hin

    Thailand, the Philippines, southern China, Hong Kong and Myanmar are named in the latest WHO influenza update as reporting high flu activity, with all virus subtypes present. In southern hemisphere temperate regions, flu levels across Australia and New Zealand are ‘following seasonal patterns’ or ‘just above the seasonal threshold’, with influenza A(H3N2) & B (Yamagata lineage) predominating.
    A RABID dog has bitten at least 15 people, both residents and foreign tourists, in the beach town of Hua Hin. The local response has been to set us a month-long monitoring zone in the area, stretching 3km south from Klai Kangwon Palace. Rabies post-exposure treatment has been provided to those who were bitten. Read more.

    Uganda: Kampala, Wakiso measles cases

    Children under one year of age are bearing the brunt of a measles outbreak hitting Kamapala and nearby Wakiso district, with 67 suspected cases to date. Health authorities have instituted public education sessions and vaccination campaigns in response. Read more.

    United States of America: Island mumps outbreak tops 200

    The mumps outbreak remains on the Hawaii health department’s radar, with the case count now sitting at 209 on 3 islands – Oahu (191), Kauai (15) & Hawaii (3). The department’s advice: Ensure your family is fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: This outbreak of mumps highlights 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.