Health Alerts
  • Brazil: Uptick in mosquito-borne viruses

    The state of Minas Gerais has recorded an almost 20 percent rise in dengue fever cases during October compared with the same month last year. It takes the year-to-date figures for dengue infections to 27,045 (13 deaths + 11 under investigation). Chikungunya has also continued to be a public health issue: 17,403 suspected cases and at least 10 related deaths; while there were over 700 suspected Zika virus cases. Read more (translate from Portuguese).

    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.

    Burkina Faso: Surge in dengue causes alarm

    The latest World Health Organization (WHO) weekly bulletin from its African office provides an update on the dengue fever outbreak (reported in our Oct 26 alerts), describing the rise in cases as exponential ‘particularly in the Central Region of the country, around the capital city, Ougadougou.’  

    Cuba: Zika risk now high

    Travellers to Cuba are being warned that the risk of Zika virus infection is now high after 20 Europeans were confirmed to have contracted the virus during travel over the past 3 months. Increased precautions relating to pregnancy – current and planned – are among those being advised if travelling to the region. 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).

    Fiji: Dengue season underway

    A senior government official has called on residents to ensure that mosquito breeding sites are cleared as the rainy season begins. The highest dengue figures this year were recorded in the northern province of Macuata on Vanua Levu island, however the official went on to warn that ‘there have been confirmed cases of chikungunya and Zika virus in Fiji that is also caused by mosquitoes.’ Read more.

    India: Some states get respite from mozzie diseases; Delhi takes pollution title

    Relief is on the way for northern states with the anticipated arrival of the cool, dry season that brings to an end the dengue (& other mosquito-borne infections) season. While to the south, in Punjab, persistent reports of dengue fever cases have led authorities to carry on insect fogging in Ludhiana into December – normally this would come to an end in October. Other regions continuing to report dengue outbreaks include Kolkata, Haryana and Maharashtra. And it’s not just dengue that’s causing concern in Delhi, malaria cases hit a 4-year high in 2017 with over 550 cases recorded. Coastal parts of the city of Kozhikode in Kerala have also reported higher numbers of malaria cases. In Chennai a local news source gives details of a rise in bacterial infections, even while dengue fever cases are on the decline. The incidence of diarrhoea, ENT infections, paratyphoid, conjunctivitis and upper & lower respiratory tract infections have risen in the city. Read more.

    THE smog which settled on Delhi this week caused a public emergency to be declared. Conditions in the city are described as being the equivalent of smoking at least 50 cigarettes a day – a ‘gas chamber’ according to the chief minister. Fine particles suspended in the air (PM2.5) reached a level 11 times higher than the recommended standard on Tuesday. 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: Rains trigger rise in infections

    Recent heavy rains in many regions has caused a rise in cases of diarrhoea with some residents of Mombasa County suffering cholera-like symptoms. Testing is underway to confirm the diagnosis. 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.

    Madagascar: Outbreak showing improvement

    The numbers of people requiring hospitalisation for treatment of plague infection has dropped further as the outbreak’s toll becomes apparent. ReliefWeb expands on the figures: ‘From 1 August to 3 November 2017, a total of 1,947 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of plague, including 143 deaths, have been reported from 51 of 114 districts in the country. Of these, 1,437 (74%) were clinically classified as pulmonary plague, 295 (15%) were bubonic plague, one was septicaemic, and 211 were not yet classified…’. Over two-thirds of cases were reported in the area of the capital Antananarivo (Analamanga Region). 

    Nigeria: Updates on monkeypox & yellow fever outbreaks

    Twenty states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have reported suspected cases of monkeypox and, as of Nov 2nd, 38 infections were confirmed (with 106 more suspected) from 8 of those states. Read more. In an update on the yellow fever (YF) outbreak reported last month in Kwara state, the WHO details how a widespread follow up resulted in diagnosing a total of 166 YF cases from 6 states (Abia, Borno, Kwara, Kogi, Plateau & Zamfara). ‘Reactive’ vaccination campaigns are planned for those areas identified as having sub-optimal vaccination rates.  

    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.

    Serbia: Capital records measles spike

    Authorities have declared a measles outbreak in Belgrade with 5 cases reported in the city from a total of 65 across the region – all since the beginning of October. 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.

    Uganda: Marburg kills 3

    Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) in Kween district has claimed the lives of the 3 cases previously identified and a high risk contact of one of the cases has been hospitalised following the onset of symptoms. The WHO update issued on Nov 7th noted that the appropriate public health response is being carried out by the Dept of Health with the support of the WHO and partners, and cross-border meetings are planned with Kenyan authorities. As a further note the update offered the following: ‘Uganda has previous experience in managing recurring Ebola and Marburg virus (MVD) disease outbreaks. MVD cases have historically been reported among miners and travellers who visited caves inhabited by bat colonies in Uganda.’ 

    Vietnam: Measles surges in north

    Hanoi and surrounding districts have reported up to 5 new measles cases per week for the last 2 months, prompting authorities to plan a vaccination campaign aimed at children under 5 years of age. One-third of the recent cases were unvaccinated. Read more.

    New Zealand: Mumps cases top 757

    A Public Health doctor in Auckland has described how the largest outbreak of mumps since 1994 in the city has spread largely due to unimmunised segments of the community, and the country is, ‘importing mumps, as well as probably exporting it as well.’ Read more. There have been 757 suspected and confirmed cases during the current outbreak.

    Advice for travellers: This lingering 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.

  • Cambodia: Flu on the rise

    The latest World Health Organization (WHO) global influenza update notes an increase in flu cases in Cambodia (mainly A(H3N2) viruses) and Oman (A(H1N1)pdm09), while on Réunion Island flu activity ‘remained elevated, with influenza A and B viruses co-circulating’. Most other regions recorded declining or low numbers. 

    Advice for travellers: The 2017 flu season is almost over in Australia, however in the tropics it’s year-round. 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.

    Cape Verde: Capital’s malaria cases continue

    The Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak in the capital Praia reported in early August shows no sign of tapering, with 40 more confirmed cases in the most recent reporting week (taking the yearly total to 343 with one death). The WHO’s review of the current situation cites concern that, among other local issues, ‘vector control measures appear to be at its weakest point.’ 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.

    India: Late season disease surge

    Dengue fever outbreaks persist in Chandigarh and Noida (Uttar Pradesh), as well as in the states of Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir. States in the SE have been particularly hard hit by dengue this year. Read more. According to a local news article, malaria cases and deaths for 2017 have been highest in West Bengal (also reporting a rise in scrub typhus), followed by Odisha and Maharashtra. 

    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.

    Kenya: Malaria spikes in north

    Over 1,000 malaria cases and 26 associated deaths have occurred over the past month in the central/north region of Marsabit, during what is considered the low season for the mosquito-borne illness. A number of factors are thought to be responsible for the increase, including recent heavy rains. Read more

    Advice for travellers: For most travellers, Africa presents a significant malaria risk. If you’re visiting this region, Travelvax advises that you discuss your itinerary and malaria prevention with your travel health provider. 

    Madagascar: Some relief after decline in plague numbers

    Schools in previously plague-affected areas are to be reopened on Nov 6th, as the response to the outbreak produces some results - 12 districts have reported no new cases in the last few weeks. September/October marks the beginning of the ‘plague season’ in Madagascar, however the recent outbreak has been of concern for a number of reasons, including: Two-thirds of cases reported in the outbreak have been the more virulent pneumonic form, and cases have been recorded in large urban centres, including the capital. Read more from ReliefWeb. More on the plague from the US CDC.  

    Nigeria: Monkeypox confirmed in 5 areas

    A total of 9 confirmed cases of monkeypox have so far been reported in the states of Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Enugu and the Federal Capital Territory, while 94 suspected case cases are under investigation from 12 states in all. More information on outbreak locations and the government’s response can be found on the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control website.  

    Advice for travellers: Closely related to the smallpox virus, monkeypox is mainly found in Central and Western Africa. Rodents are the suspected reservoir, with monkeys and humans as secondary or ‘spill-over’ hosts. People can be infected by eating undercooked ‘bushmeat’ or handling infected animals, making infection a low risk for travellers. Read more on monkeypox.

    Pakistan: Chikungunya in Sindh

    The number of suspected chikungunya cases in Karachi rose to 243 for the month of October, from a province-wide total of 4,600. Read more

    Advice for travellers: The symptoms of chikungunya fever are similar to dengue fever and both are transmitted by the same mosquitoes – the day-time feeding Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Acute joint pain with a rash is typical of chikungunya and while fatal cases are rare, painful joints may persist for weeks or months after the acute phase has ended. There is no vaccine or prevention medication; using an effective, tropical-strength repellent to avoid insect bites is the best form of protection. Read more about chikungunya.

    Samoa: Outbreak declared

    While not stating actual numbers, a senior official with the Ministry of Health has declared a dengue fever outbreak. Leausa Dr. Take Naseri ‘asked the public not to panic but take immediate action to eliminate mosquito-breeding places.’ He went on to say that the current cases were dengue type 2 strain, which hasn’t been circulating in recent years, so the potential for more severe complications were higher. 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.

    Saudi Arabia: MERS reports persist well into 6th year

    The 2 most recently diagnosed MERS Co-V cases both had a recent confirmed risk factor for infection: either direct or indirect contact with camels. They take the 5-year total of cases to 1,738 (703 deaths). Read more

    Senegal: Dengue in NW

    In the country’s northwest, dengue fever has been confirmed in Louga and the smaller town of Dahra (90kms to the east). To date 36 of the 232 suspected cases have been laboratory-confirmed. Read more

    Spain: Legionnaire’s warning for Mallorca

    English health authorities have issued a warning for travellers to Mallorca (or Majorca) who have recently stayed, or are planning on staying, in the town of Palmanova (15km SW of the capital, Palma) after 18 tourists fell ill with Legionnaire’s disease on their return to the UK. Public Health England has advised: ‘people who have travelled or are planning to travel to Palmanova in Mallorca to be aware of the signs and symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, which are initially flu-like. This is particularly important if you are in a group at increased risk of infection such as those with underlying medical conditions, smokers or people aged 50 or over.'

    St Kitts and Nevis: HFMD spike

    Authorities are warning residents to be on the alert for symptoms of hand, food & mouth disease (HFMD) following a rise in the incidence of the viral infection across the federation. Read more

    Advice for travellers: HFMD mainly affects young children and symptoms include fever, oral lesions, and rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. There is no vaccine or preventative medication, but good hand hygiene will greatly reduce the risk of infection. Parents should be aware that seasonal epidemics of HFMD are common across Asia. Read more about HFMD.

    St Lucia: Post-Maria water-borne disease rise

    Cases of leptospirosis have risen in the wake of the flooding produced by Hurricane Maria, leading authorities to order a Rodent Reduction Programme aimed at lowering the risk of transmission from the most common vectors. Read more

    Advice for travellers: Leptospirosis is spread through the urine of infected animals, typically rats. The bacterium enters the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth, as well as through broken skin. Outbreaks are typically associated with exposure to floodwaters, making leptospirosis a low risk for most travellers. Read more about leptospirosis.

    Sudan: Cholera cases decreasing

    There has been a decline in newly diagnosed acute watery diarrhoea cases after a concerted drive by local and international agencies. Regional countries continuing to report cholera are: Kenya – Embu County, DR Congo -  North & South Kivu, Chad - Salamat and Sila regions, & South Sudan are the others. ProMED provides a situation update. 

    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.

    Uganda: MVD update for 2 districts

    The regional WHO office this week updated the Marburg virus disease (MVD) situation, stating that as of Oct 29th,’a total of six cases (2 confirmed, 1 probable and 3 suspected) have been reported in Kween and Kapchorwa Districts’. ‘Two weeks after initial detection, the MVD outbreak remains localized and the case count is still low. However, there are concerns around the number of contacts who have potentially been exposed in the community...’ Read more

    United States of America: Hep A burden for more states

    With no let-up in Michigan’s hepatitis A outbreak that has been underway since August last year, authorities have instituted an emergency response plan. Detroit is one of many cities that have reported cases.of the faecal-oral transmitted infection. The case count sits at 457 confirmed cases, with 18 associated deaths. Meanwhile in NY State, diners who ate at a restaurant in Westchester County between Oct 16 & 23 are being advised to seek vaccination against hepatitis A after a food worker was diagnosed with the viral illness - over 3,000 people have already been given the post-exposure vaccine. 

    Advice for travellers: Hepatitis A (HAV) is a vaccine-preventable viral disease passed on to humans primarily through oral contact with faeces of an infected person. This can occur through contaminated food and water, by handling everyday items and sexual contact. It is a significant risk in travellers to developing countries where sanitation and hygiene are lacking. A course of hepatitis A vaccine offers immunity that is 99%-plus effective and protects for 20-30 years. Travellers should also follow these guidelines for safe food and water

  • Brazil: New YF case confirmed

    This week it was confirmed that a 76 year-old resident of the Itatiba/Jundiaí region (São Paulo state) had succumbed to yellow fever earlier this month and another case is under investigation. Read more. Under 80kms to the south, in the state capital of São Paulo, monkeys infected with the yellow fever virus have been identified in parks in northern districts prompting authorities to mount a campaign to ensure residents of the region are vaccinated. The large outbreak that started late in 2016 and produced 777 yellow fever cases (with 261 deaths) was declared over in early September. Read more. A research letter in the current Emerging Infectious Diseases journal has described the isolation of yellow fever virus RNA from urine and semen samples taken from a man who had contracted the infection in Brazil in late December 2016/January 2017. 

    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

    Burkina Faso: New dengue spike

    At the same time of year as the dengue fever outbreak that struck the capital Ouagadougou last year (1,266 suspected cases & 15 deaths), the mosquito-borne disease has struck again. In the past few weeks, there have been as many as 4,017 suspected cases and 11 deaths across the country, with two-thirds of those in the central health region (based in the capital). As part of a response plan instituted after the 2016 outbreak, insecticide spraying is to be carried out in the evenings between 4pm & 7pm. Read more (translate from French). 

    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.

    Canada: Mumps persists in Manitoba

    It has been ongoing for over a year now and the mumps outbreak affecting the state of Manitoba does not appear to be over yet. After the initial cases were registered in Sept 1st last year, there have been 1,150 notifications when in most years there are 10. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: These lingering outbreaks of mumps 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.

    India: Trailing monsoon effects

    A sudden surge in dengue fever & chikungunya cases has seen Bhopal city officials declare 10 districts to be most affected, with plans put in place ‘proactive vector control operations’. Read more. Similarly, the dengue season is persisting in New Delhi, with 650 cases reported over a recent week.  In the state of Punjab, nearly 200 dengue fever cases were reported in the central city of Ludhiana in the past week; chikungunya is also present, but to a lesser extent. Insecticide fogging is carried out on a regular basis to try to eradicate the infective Aedes mosquito. While to the north-west, the city of Kapurthala has experienced an almost doubling of dengue fever cases over the past 2 weeks. Recent heavy rains in the state of Andhra Pradesh (Krishna district) have compromised clean water supplies and some food supplies leading to a surge in typhoid cases – over 700 cases have been registered. 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 fever is itinerary specific, but is generally recommended for those staying or travelling extensively in rural areas, as well as for adventurous eaters. Drug-resistant strains have been identified in South Asia and other regions. All travellers visiting endemic areas should follow safe food and water guidelines, and adopt strict personal hygiene practices. 

    Italy: More Chikungunya cases

    An update on the chikungunya outbreaks affecting the regions of Lazio and Calabria up to Oct 20th indicates likely further local transmission, with the total number of cases now standing at 358. Read more

    Advice for travellers: The symptoms of chikungunya fever are similar to dengue fever and both are transmitted by the same mosquitoes – the day-time feeding Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Acute joint pain with a rash is typical of chikungunya and while fatal cases are rare, painful joints may persist for weeks or months after the acute phase has ended. There is no vaccine or prevention medication; using an effective, tropical-strength repellent to avoid insect bites is the best form of protection. Read more about chikungunya.

    Madagascar: Aid to tackle plague

    The international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières is now working with local authorities as they endeavour to halt the spread of plague that has caused 1,032 cases since the beginning of August (695 pneumonic and 89 resulting deaths). The port city of Tamatave in the country’s east is the focus of the outbreak. Read more (translate from French). Read US CDC travel advisory here

    Namibia: Bacterial threat in NE

    Anthrax has struck wildlife in the far north east – 2 weeks ago the deaths of numerous hippos and buffalo were confirmed to have been caused by the bacterial illness. To prevent spread into the local population, prophylactic antibiotics have been distributed to 724 people in the Kavango East region (Bwabwata National Park). Read more.

    Advice for travellers: The anthrax bacterium is transmitted to people in the form of spores which are can produce disease through consuming contaminated meat, through inhalation or via contact with the wool, hair or hide of infected animals. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, so infection is a low risk to travellers. Read more about anthrax

    Nepal: Terai’s dengue spike

    Dengue fever cases are on the rise in the eastern Terai district of Jhapa, adjacent to the Indian state of Bihar. The case count sits at 341, with almost 250 people under treatment in local hospitals and clinics. Read more

    Puerto Rico: Post-hurricane disease threat

    Advice to doctors from the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) given to doctors this week centres on the possibility of infectious diseases in travellers returning from hurricane-affected areas such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The CDC identifies those illnesses that occur when water sanitation is compromised and there is inadequate shelter i.e. ‘leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, and influenza.’ Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Hepatitis A (HAV) is a vaccine-preventable viral disease passed on to humans primarily through oral contact with faeces of an infected person. This can occur through contaminated food and water, by handling everyday items and sexual contact. It is a significant risk in travellers to developing countries where sanitation and hygiene are lacking. A course of hepatitis A vaccine offers immunity that is 99%-plus effective and protects for 20-30 years. Travellers should also follow these guidelines for safe food and water

    Uganda: Marburg virus in east

    On Oct 25, the WHO announced ‘a confirmed outbreak of Marburg virus disease in Kween District’ which today was updated by the Ugandan Ministry of Health. To date there has been one confirmed case, another is suspected, plus 105 contacts are being monitored. Kween district lies partly within and to the north of Mt Elgon National Park, an area popular with tourists for hiking, wildlife and caves. Read more about Marburg haemorrhagic fever from the CDC. 

    United States of America: Hep A update; Legionnaire’s in NY

    Less than 2 weeks after California’s governor declared a state of emergency over the current hepatitis a outbreak, the number of cases continues to rise. The counties of Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Cruz have all been impacted. In San Diego County alone, as of Oct 19th, there had been 516 cases (19 deaths & 357 hospitalisations), with most cases among ‘homeless and/or illicit drug users’. Read more. IN New York, an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease is under investigation. The district affected is Flushing in Queens, with 12 confirmed infections over the past 2 weeks. Read more.

    Advice for travellers: Legionnaire’s disease occurs worldwide and many of the increasing number of cases reported in Australia in recent years have been linked to overseas travel. Outbreaks have been associated with cruise ships, hotels, and resorts. The bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease is found in airborne droplets of warm, fresh water, such as from fountains, spas, showers and the cooling towers of buildings. Over 50s, current or former smokers, those with a chronic lung condition, and the immunocompromised are at higher risk of developing illness after exposure. Read more.

    Zimbabwe: Typhoid strikes capital’s southern district

    An outbreak of typhoid has been reported in Mbare district, known for its popular markets but also high density, impoverished living in places such as the Matapi hostels. To date 18 cases have been confirmed while others are under investigation. Read more.