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With over 30 years at the forefront of travel health, MASTA is proud to bring you alerts and topical information from across the globe. Make MASTA your one stop shop for expert advice, leaving you concentrate on what is most important… enjoying your travels.

MASTA Travel Health Alert- 9th November 2016

India

Over 44,650 cases of chikungunya have been reported from many states in the country, Jan-Oct 16. Karnataka state (S) is the most affected with over 20,000 cases reported.

Chikungunya (CHIK) is a viral infection spread by day-time biting mosquitoes. Symptoms may include fever and muscle/joint pain. Some people experience persistent joint pain and fatigue lasting weeks or months.

Solomon Islands

Over 1,200 suspected cases have been reported in a declared outbreak of dengue fever from Guadalcanal (including Honiara), Malaita, and Isabel provinces, and Gizo City in Western province, Aug-Oct 16. This is large increase in the number of cases usually reported. The majority of cases are in children.

Sri Lanka

Over 45,000 cases of dengue fever have been recorded, Jan-Oct 16. Western province, including Colombo municipality (13,000 cases), Gampaha and Kalutara are most affected. Kandy in Central Province also reports many cases. Over 26,200 cases were reported during 2015.

Vietnam

Dengue fever is a continuing problem, over 11,300 cases have been reported from Ho Chi Minh City, Jan-Oct 16. Overall, over 63,500 cases (20 deaths) have been reported from 44 of 63 provinces, Jan-Nov 16. Nearly 98,000 cases (61 deaths) were reported from 54 provinces in 2015. The southern region including Ho Chi Minh City was worst affected.

Dengue fever is a viral infection spread by day-time biting mosquitoes. It is widespread across over 110 countries with large outbreaks reported in many regions including South East Asia and South/Central America. Dengue fever commonly causes flu-like symptoms including fever, joint pain and rash. Severe forms of the disease are rare in travellers but can lead to excessive bleeding and organ failure.

Japan

Over 45,600 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been reported, Jan-Oct 16. 381,500 cases were reported in 2015.

Singapore

Over 36,600 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been reported, Oct 16. Weekly case numbers have been decreasing in the seasonal trend since Jul 16. Over 28,200 cases were reported in 2015.

Vietnam

Over 33,000 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been reported Jan-Oct 16, from 62 of 63 provinces. Weekly case numbers have been increasing since Aug 16, following the seasonal trend.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral infection which affects mainly young children and causes fever, mouth ulcers and blisters on hands and feet. It is transmitted by person to person contact. The majority of cases are mild but serious complications are occasionally reported.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Ministry of Health continue to report additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Nov 16. 1,474 cases (616 deaths) have been reported since 2012.

MERS-CoV is a viral infection which affects the respiratory system and can be fatal. Human to human transmission has been reported including amongst healthcare workers. There is some evidence that camels may also transmit the disease. Travellers returning from the Middle East who develop a significant respiratory illness with fever and cough should seek medical advice. There are no travel restrictions.

Brazil

The first case of rabies since 2012 has been reported in the state of Ceara (NE), Nov 16. The man sustained a bite from a vampire bat, and did not seek immediate medical treatment.

Rabies is a viral infection spread by the saliva of infected animals. Human cases are usually due to dog bites but any mammals can be infected. Rabies is fatal once symptoms begin. Pre-exposure vaccinations are recommended for long-stay travellers; those remote from medical help (>24 hours) and animal handlers. All travellers must know how to treat a wound and seek prompt post-exposure vaccines if bitten/scratched.

USA

1,461 cases (69 deaths) of West Nile fever have been recorded, Jan-Oct 16. Most affected states so far have been Texas, California, Colorado, Illinois and South Dakota. 2,060 cases (119 deaths) were reported during 2015.

Italy

62 cases of West Nile fever have been reported in this transmission season from 15 Northern provinces, with 1 case in Trapani (S), Nov 16. 61 cases were reported in 2015.

Romania

93 cases (8 deaths) of West Nile fever have been reported from a number of regions for this transmission season, May-Nov 16. The most affected regions have been Braila (SE) and Bucharest (S). 32 cases were reported in 2015

Serbia

41 cases of West Nile fever have been reported in this transmission season, to Nov 16. 28 cases were reported in 2015.

West Nile fever is a viral infection spread by the bite of mosquitoes. It usually causes flu-like symptoms, but can rarely cause fatal brain infection. The elderly are at higher risk of complications. There is no specific treatment.

Monserrat

Cases of Zika Virus have been reported, Nov 16

Palau

Cases of Zika Virus have been reported, Nov 16.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is transmitted by daytime biting mosquitoes and is similar to dengue fever. Symptoms include rash, conjunctivitis, muscle or joint pain. Neurological complications have been reported. There is consensus that ZIKV infection during pregnancy may cause some birth defects such as microcephaly. There is a low risk of sexual transmission of the disease. Countries/territories/areas with active or past Zika transmission have now been classified into 4 risk categories: high, moderate, low and very low, based on the current and potential epidemiological situation. These categories ensure travel advice is appropriate and proportionate to the defined ZIKV transmission risk.See current national advice from Public Health England for more details, including that for pregnant travellers, who are advised to postpone non-essential travel to high risk countries and also regarding condom use for preventing sexual transmission of the disease. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/zika-virus-zikv-clinical-and-travel-guidance

Tags:Chickungunya, Dengue, Hand foot and mouth, MERS-CoV, rabies, West Nile Fever, Zika