Health Alerts
  • Australia: Flu season news

    Influenza notifications have climbed 4 weeks earlier than last year according to the Australian Influenza Surveillance Report, which also advised that the numbers of cases are highest in the 85+ years age group, followed by children under 10 years of age.  Local reports of spikes in flu cases have come from NSW and QLD

    Advice for travellers: The 2017 flu season is 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. Alcohol wipes are a convenient alternative if soap and water is not available.

    Canada: Smoke hazard warning

    Health warnings have been issued for parts of British Columbia as the numerous bush fires burning produced severe smoke haze. Whistler Mountain and Kamloops are mentioned as 2 of the high risk areas, but Metro Vancouver is also affected and likely to be so for several more days. Read more.

    Cuba: Eye infections surge

    Highly contagious viral conjunctivitis is spreading rapidly in all areas of Cuba, but highest rates have been recorded in and around Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and Havana. Outbreaks occur annually in the Caribbean region from September to December. Read more. More on conjunctivitis

    India: Rise in monsoon-related diseases; Vax campaign tackles 2 viral infections

    Doctors have issues warnings to the local population encouraging measures to avoid infections such as Hepatitis A & E, both more prevalent during the monsoon season. Read more
    Countrywide, dengue fever cases have risen almost 12,000 over last year’s figures along with associated deaths (35:46). Regional dengue reports: Pune & Greater Mumbai (Maharastra state), Delhi, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Kerala, while Karnataka has recorded the highest chikungunya figures (10,241 till July 30th). 
    Japanese encephalitis infections are climbing in Manipur and Assam, while scrub typhus is believed to be the cause of encephalitis in parts of Uttar Pradesh.  
    A MASSIVE vaccination campaign aimed at children aged 9mo – 15 years will get underway this month in the southern state of Telangana. Thousands of children will be immunised against measles and rubella – the state has seen 800 measles cases this year already and up to 3,000 babies have been affected by Congenital Rubella Syndrome (results from infection during pregnancy). 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.

    Iran: Tick-borne illness surfaces in east

    A spate of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever cases has been reported in eastern regions, with 80 infections and 5 deaths confirmed. The transmission of the tick-borne illness is possibly associated with illegal cattle imports. Read more

    Advice for travellers: CCHF virus is transmitted to people either directly by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, so infection is a low risk to travellers. Read more about the virus.

    Kenya: Cholera spikes in 4 counties

    There’s been no respite from the cholera outbreak that started back in April, with a senior health official naming 4 counties as disease ‘hotspots’: Kisumu, Garissa, Machakos and Nairobi. 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

    Malaysia: Dengue tops list

    The Health Minister announced this week that, while dengue fever is the most common of the infectious diseases in Malaysia, measures were already in place to curb the viral illness’ spread. Hand, foot & mouth disease, leptospirosis, hepatitis B and HIV make up the remainder of the top 5 infectious diseases. 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.

    Mexico: Fresh foods suspect in contamination

    A number of food and water-borne infections in British travellers caused by the parasite Cyclospora and apparently originating from hotels of the Riviera Maya are being investigated by UK public health authorities. A National Travel Health Network & Centre news post advises that the ‘foods commonly involved are soft fruits ... and salad products' and also, ‘this is the third successive year since 2015 that cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported in travellers returning from Mexico.’ Read more.

    Advice for travellers: A single-celled coccidian parasite, Cyclospora cayetanensis may be a risk for travellers to tropical or subtropical regions where it is found. The microscopic parasite causes watery diarrhoea, nausea, anorexia, abdominal cramps, weight loss and, occasionally, fever that can last for several days – and reoccur - if not treated effectively with antibiotics. Most cases result from consuming food or water containing the parasite, or swallowing contaminated water while swimming. Fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, basil and lettuce washed with contaminated water are common culprits, especially those imported from developing nations. Read more about Cyclospora.

    Nepal: Typhus in Chitwan

    News of a recent spurt in scrub typhus infections - over half of the 39 recently confirmed cases were in Chitwan, an area in the Terai lowlands renowned for its national park. In 2016, over 400 cases (& >13 deaths) were recorded in Nepal. 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.

    Philippines: Island dengue toll rises

    The death toll associated with dengue fever infections in the province of Negros Occidental has climbed to 15. The most recent death occurred in Silas City, near the provincial capital of Bacolod. Read more.

    Portugal: Hep A lingers

    In an update on the hepatitis A outbreak, a further 80 cases were diagnosed in the last month, mostly from Lisbon and Vale do Tejo. This takes the year-to-date total to 402 - almost 90 percent of cases were in men and over half of those contracted the virus through sexual contact. Read more (translate from Portuguese).

    Singapore: Dengue numbers climb, Zika persists in east

    Serangoon North Avenue, the location of the most recent Zika virus cases  – 2 since August 1st - was also the centre of a cluster identified in late June. Read more.  The dengue case count is nearing 1,700 for the year to date – a high risk area as noted on the National Environment Agency website is Bayshore Road, approx. 10kms from Changi Airport. 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. 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). 

    Taiwan: ex Vietnam - Zika virus import

    A man who had been in Ho Chi Minh City for several weeks visiting family has been diagnosed with Zika virus infection on his return to Taipei. Arrival authorities tested him after he was noticed to be suffering a fever. Read more.

    United States of America: Homeless hep A burden

    There are fears outbreaks of hepatitis A underway in 2 counties near Los Angeles could also affect the city. The infection is spreading among homeless people and has already sickened 295 (with 10 deaths) in San Diego County and 38 in Santa Cruz County. Read more.

    Venezuela: Shortages lead to disease spike

    Government figures haven’t been updated in months, but other national heath bodies have put the number of diphtheria cases since September last year at 447. Highest case counts have come from the state of Bolivar, followed by Anzoátegui, Miranda, Monagas, Apure, Sucre and Capital District. Doctors are blaming government inaction and a shortage of vaccines and treatment options for the outbreak. Read more (translate from Spanish). More on diphtheria.

    Vietnam: Rains bring dengue and more

    A 12.6 percent rise in dengue infections over the same period last year has led the prime minister to call for stronger measures to tackle the mosquito-borne virus. Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hanoi have recorded the highest figures to date – HCMC fared the worst with 12,000 cases since the beginning of the year and 4 deaths. Read more. The rainy season has also brought along a corresponding rise in other infections such as malaria, gastrointestinal illnesses and conjunctivitis. Read more

    Yemen: Cholera blow to 5 governates

    The latest wave of cholera has caused over 430,000 infections and 24 deaths across a large swathe of the country. A World Health Organization update names the governates with over half of the cases as Al Hudaydah, Amanat Al Asimah, Hajjah, Amran and Dhamar. 

  • Australia: Flu update; QLD’s mozzie burden

    The Health Dept's most recent Influenza Surveillance Report notes that the components of this year’s flu vaccine look to be a good match with the current circulating strains. Low or sporadic influenza activity is being seen in some rural parts of WA, the NT and Far North Qld while the remainder of the country is following seasonal norms. The latest WHO influenza update reports that temperate regions of southern Africa and South America are showing increased influenza activity. 
    A total of 1,830 mosquito-borne infections have been reported in Qld so far this year. The numbers include Ross River and Barmah Forest Virus cases from Cairns, Townsville and the Darling Downs.

    Advice for travellers: The 2017 flu season is 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. Alcohol wipes are a convenient alternative if soap and water is not available.

    Bolivia: YF case for Cochabamba

    A fifth case of yellow fever for the year has been identified in the central city of Cochabamba, approx. half way between La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. In response, surveillance has been stepped up in the area and vaccinations will be offered to at-risk individuals. Read more (translate from Spanish).

    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. 

    Brazil: Chikungunya strikes in Ceará

    The state of Ceará in Brazil’s NE is experiencing a spike in chikungunya cases, with up to 60,000 recorded to date from most regions. Since the mosquito-borne viral illness arrived in the Caribbean in 2013, it has caused nearly 2.5 million infections. 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.

    China: JE from donated blood

    Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection last week confirmed a case of Japanese encephalitis infection contracted through the transfusion of donated blood. The patient, a 52yo man, is still undergoing treatment in hospital. Investigations of this first recorded local case, revealed the blood was donated by an asymptomatic man who lived in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories. 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

    India: JE, dengue, chikungunya round-up

    As the Japanese encephalitis (JE) season moves towards its peak, reports of JE infections and resulting deaths are emerging from both Uttar Pradesh and Assam, two of the states that record high annual JE rates Read more. As the monsoon season moves along, dengue and chikungunya infections are reported to be on the rise in Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka and Kerala

    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.

    Kenya: Cholera lingers

    International aid is being sought as the government attempts to stem a cholera outbreak that some doctors say has been ongoing since December last year. Areas affected include Lamu, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Kisumu. Hospitals are struggling to cope as staff numbers are already reduced due to a nurses’ strike which has been underway for more than 50 days. 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

    Malaysia: Rabies alert spreads

    Twenty-two areas of Sarawak have been declared rabies-affected, an increase of 2 from last week, as health authorities announced the death of the fifth victim on Sunday. Rabies awareness campaigns, dog bite clinics and vaccination drives are just some of the initiatives the local government has instituted in response to the outbreak. 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. 

    Nigeria: Hep E persists in Borno

    In the NE state of Borno, hepatitis E continues to ravage communities, taking its toll on pregnant women in particular. Recent increases have been observed in Ngala and Damasak, but the state health ministry is reporting as many as 562 cases (both suspected and confirmed). Read more.

    Advice for travellers: The hepatitis E virus is transmitted mainly through faecal contamination of drinking water. The virus is found worldwide, mainly in communities with low levels of sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine. More than 60% of all hepatitis E infections and 65% of deaths occur in East and South Asia, with up 1-in-4 people in some age groups having been exposed to the virus. Women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy are particularly susceptible to severe complications. Read more about the virus and how to prevent it.

    Pakistan: Measles toll tops 10

    A measles outbreak in the SE port city of Chittagong has sickened over 100 children and killed 10. Many children remain in hospital for management of complications. 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.

    Philippines: Dengue strikes island group

    Half a million children in towns and cities in Central Visayas are eligible for vaccination against dengue fever. Currently young children are bearing the brunt of dengue infections in the province, making up most of the 72 deaths recorded this year (from 7,095 cases). The only available vaccine, which is licenced for the ages of 9 to 45, is recommended for residents of dengue endemic countries. Read more

    Sri Lanka: Triple dengue effect

    The dengue epidemic continues to rage and is concentrated on the western region. International headlines have been made as the death toll nears 300 from over 107,000 cases. A Red Cross official has called the situation ‘unusual’, adding that there is ‘always a peak [in dengue fever cases] during rainy seasons, but this one is three times higher.’ Read more

    United States of America: Texas Zika case; Hawaii mumps tops 172

    The US’ first Zika virus case this year – in Hidalgo County, Texas - was announced this week. A news release from the local health department said there was no risk the person could still transmit the infection as it ‘was probably transmitted by a mosquito bite in South Texas sometime in the last few months with having probably occurred weeks ago.’ Hidalgo County lies in the south of the state, bordering Mexico. 
    HAWAII’S mumps case numbers haven’t been updated since July 20th when the health department put the figure at 172 cases - over 40 percent of those aged 18 and older. 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. 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).

    Vietnam: Dengue, north to south

    An undersupply of treatment drugs and staff is hampering the government’s ability to tackle the dengue fever outbreak that has produced 58,000 infections and 15 deaths. The deputy head of the Health Ministry believes a ‘massive health crisis’ is looming. Areas badly affected include the 2 largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang, Binh Duong, An Giang, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Soc Trang, Khanh Hoa and Tien Giang. Read more.

  • India: Monsoon season = JE, dengue, malaria

    The case count and death toll from Japanese encephalitis infections is climbing in the states of Assam, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh. Read more. Government dengue data released this week to the Council of States shows there have been over 20,600 cases and 22 associated deaths across the country. Worst affected states are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Read more. Delhi’s dengue (& other mosquito-borne diseases) season officially gets underway around now, however the city has already had as many as 200 malaria cases and 150-183 of dengue and chikungunya. Read more. And the state of Chhattisgarh has topped Odisha in the number of malaria cases reported for the year up to July - 56,022 cases (Odisha 51,023). Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Malaria is widespread in India and occurs year-round in both rural and urban areas, including major cities. Travellers visiting India should discuss their itinerary and the possible need for anti-malaria medication during a pre-travel medical consultation. Read more on malaria in India. 

    Kenya: Nairobi’s cholera woes

    Strict personal hygiene measures are being called for in Nairobi County as the city deals with an outbreak of cholera that has so far caused the deaths of 4 people from over 300 suspected cases. According to a ReliefWeb post, there are concerns within the Health Ministry that the rising number of ‘food borne diarrheal, poisoning and cholera in different towns and cities in the country’ is ‘often related to public functions and outsourcing of food.’ Yesterday, the Health Minister called for a Nairobi hotel and restaurant to be closed indefinitely. 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

    Malaysia: More areas declared rabies-affected, one more case

    One new human rabies cases has been reported in Sarawak this week – a 52yo man from Serian – and the number of districts identified as rabies-affected has increased by three to include Siburan town, Tebedu (Kampung Temong Mura) and Sri Aman (Rumah Janta Punggu Mawang). The 4 previous rabies victims (all children) have died from the infection. Domestic animals have been targeted in a vaccination campaign. 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.

    Martinique: Pink eye hits islands

    The popular Caribbean island destinations of Martinique and Guadeloupe are experiencing a spike in the incidence of viral conjunctivitis, or pink eye. According to the West Indies and Caribbean News site, the highly transmissible infection has struck other islands within the region over the past few months, including St Lucia and Dominica. Read more. More on conjunctivitis from the US CDC here

    Morocco: Sting in the tail for rural kids

    ProMED reports on 15 children from rural towns in and around Settat, a city situated between Rabat and Marrakech, who were stung by scorpions over a recent 2-day period – 3 of the children required treatment in an intensive care unit. The summer months are the peak time for the arthropods’ activity, with up to 2,500 reports of stings each year country-wide. Read more on scorpions.  

    Pakistan: Resistant typhoid strikes 2 cities

    H58, a multi-drug resistant (MDR) strain of typhoid, is cutting a swathe through the children of Hyderabad and Karachi. An assistant professor in paediatrics at a major Karachi hospital considers the current outbreak of MDR typhoid the largest seen in the 2 cities. Contaminated water supplies and sewage infrastructure failures are being blamed for the outbreak. Read more. More on MDR typhoid

    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 fever 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.

    Romania: Vax campaign to end measles

    The Ministry of Health will be taking an active role in the rolling out of a measles vaccination campaign, managing who will be vaccinated and where. These measures are needed to curb the ongoing outbreak that has so far caused over 8,000 cases and resulted in 31 deaths since January last year. Read more. The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) this week issued a further warning for travellers to Europe to ensure their measles vaccinations were up to date or had a confirmed history of measles infection. 

    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.

    Saudi Arabia: Concerns for water-borne disease during Hajj

    The World Health Organization believes that preparations are in order ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, but warn that there remains a risk that the cholera epidemics in Yemen and several East African countries could spread during the massive religious gathering. Read more.

    Sri Lanka: Hope for respite from dengue

    Dengue fever reports hit a high of 22,692 in the month of June but are believed finally to be on the decline. Colombo and the city of Gampaha (approx. 30kms NE of the capital) have fared the worst, scoring nearly 35,000 cases between them since the beginning of the year according to official government data. 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.

    Taiwan: Flu persists; JE cases hit 17

    Seasonal influenza notifications are still at their peak, despite a slight reduction in the number of cases presenting at hospitals with severe symptoms over the past couple of weeks. Read more. Also in the region, in Hong Kong authorities have announced that flu activity is now at ‘a very high level’ and they anticipate it ‘remaining at a high level in the coming weeks.’ Read more 
    Meanwhile, the CDC has announced 2 more Japanese encephalitis cases (Nantou County and Hualien County), taking the yearly figures to 17: ‘3 cases in Kaohsiung City, 3 cases in Changhua County, 2 cases in Pingtung County, 2 cases in Taoyuan City, 2 cases in Chiayi County, 1 case in Tainan City, 1 case in New Taipei City, 1 case in Nantou County, and 1 case in Hualien County.’ Read the CDC press release here

    Advice for travellers: On average, 24 cases are recorded each year in Taiwan, mainly in the south from May to October, but peaking in June and July. Cases typically occur in rural, rice-growing areas where people live near the host animals, pigs and wading birds. While it is a low risk for most travellers staying in urban areas, expats and travellers spending extended periods in agricultural areas of Asia should consult their travel doctor about recommendations for vaccination. Read more about JE.

    Thailand: Dengue spike; Flu cases top 40,000

    Bangkok and Chiang Mai have been named this week as having above average rates of dengue fever, while the country as a whole is in the grips of a 20-year high in cases. The year’s total has hit 136,000 cases, with 126 associated deaths. Read more.
    INFLUENZA case numbers to date this year have reached 40,000 including 4 related deaths. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Seasonal flu is the most common vaccine-preventable travel-related illness: it’s likely to be found aboard aircraft, in crowded airport terminals, and at your destination. Travelvax recommends vaccination for anyone over 6 months heading overseas into the northern winter in coming months. 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. Alcohol wipes are a convenient alternative if soap and water is not available.