A monthly update on disease outbreaks around the world, from our Lead Nurse JO THOMPSON. 


COVID-19 Update

  • The first case of Coronavirus was reported on 31 December 2019 in Wuhan city in China. It has since spread worldwide. 
  • As of 22nd June 2020, there have been 8,860,331 confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide in 217 countries with 465,740 deaths. 
  • Travellers are reminded that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are travel and border restrictions, the FCO  advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. 
  • A reminder of the common symptoms: high fever, new continuous cough, loss of or change in normal sense of taste or smell.
  • Remember - HAND HYGIENE - Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas.  Use alcohol based hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
  • Remember - RESPIRATORY HYGIENE - To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue in a bin immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser. 
  • Remember - GENERAL HYGIENE - Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
  • Please remember to follow your local Government guidelines on coronavirus precautions.
  • The UK government states - If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for at least 7 days from when the symptoms started.  If your symptoms worsen or are no better after 7 days then contact NHS 111.  

An information sheet on COVID-19  is available to download here. You can also visit our website for more resources related to COVID-19 hereMore information can be found at the WHO, NHS, FCO.

Rabies in a Japanese traveller from the Philippines

  • An individual from Japan, was diagnosed with Rabies after travelling to  the Philippines.  
  • The individual was bitten by a dog in September 2019 and arrived back in Japan in February 2020 before showing symptoms of Rabies on 11 May 2020.  
  • The individual remains seriously ill in hospital. 
  • Rabies is usually fatal, once symptoms develop.  If you have been licked on an open wound or bitten or scratched by any warm blooded animal including dog, cat, bats.  Please wash the wound and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • More information on Rabies here.

Tick-borne Encephalitis in France

  • There has been an outbreak of tick- borne encephalitis in the Rhone-Alpes-Provence region in France.  As of 10th June, there have been 37 cases linked to the consumption of raw milk goat cheese.  
  • Tick-borne encephalitis is uncommon in France but is widespread in Alpine areas of Europe. 
  • There is an increased risk of the disease when walking, camping, cycling in forested areas in tick season (spring to early autumn)
  • Promptly remove any ticks. Wear appropriate clothing and use bug spray.
  • Avoid unpasteurised milk and cheese.
  • More information here

Ebola in DRC

  • On the 6th June, a total of 12 new cases of Ebola have been reported in Mbandaka, Equateur Province of DRC.  This is a different area from the large outbreak ongoing in the east of the country since 2018.
  • There have been a total of 6 deaths
  • Contact tracing and vaccination programs continue.
  • Ebola began in DRC in August 2018 in the north east of the country. There have been 3463 cases and 3317 confirmed cases with 2280 deaths since the start of the outbreak.  
  • The risk to travellers is generally extremely low. 
  • When we are able to travel again and any individuals are going to DRC then please remember; If you are unwell within 21 days post trip to DRC then get medical advice.  Call NHS 111 or contact your GP by telephone.  Mention that you have returned from DRC and may have a potential exposure to Ebola and include the dates and itinerary of your travel.
  • More information here.

Information from Travel Health Pro, World Health Organisation, Travax and Fit for Travel.