A monthly update on disease outbreaks around the world, from our lead nurse JO THOMPSON. 

 

Ebola in DRC and update from Tanzania

  • On the 10th of September 2019, the CDC and WHO were made aware of unofficial reports regarding an unexplained death in Dar es Salaam from a probable Ebola virus disease.  This has not been confirmed and is still an ongoing investigation. Ebola is not present in Tanzania.

  • Ebola began in DRC in August 2018 in the north east of the country.  Since 29 September 2019, a total of 3191 cases have been confirmed with 2133 deaths.  

  • The risk to travellers is generally extremely low. 

  • Exit screening is in operation for travellers leaving Goma airport, DRC.

  • 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.

  • For more information, please read here.


Plague in Ituri Province, DRC

  • There is an outbreak of plague in Ituri Province.  Four people belonging to the same family were found to have plague and unfortunately, a 15 year old boy died. 

  • Plague to rare in travellers. However, the risk is higher in those who are camping, staying in basic accommodation, hunting or who may have close contact with animals, particularly rats and other rodents.

  • Plague is spread via animals to humans by flea bites so travellers need to practice good bite avoidance.  

  • There is no vaccine against plague.  

  • If a traveller thinks they have been exposed to plague, it is important to seek prompt medical attention as soon as possible.  Progression of the disease may be prevented with antibiotics. Anyone who has been to a confirmed area that has plague and is experiencing rapidly progressing fever, chills, headaches, weakness, respiratory symptoms, chest pain or swollen lymph nodes should seek prompt medical attention.

  • More information on plague can be found here.


Polio in Zambia, Togo, Chad and Central Africa Republic

  • There has been confirmed cases of Polio in the above countries. 

  • The WHO that all travellers to polio-affected area be fully vaccinated against polio.  This includes a booster of the polio vaccine every 10 years. 

  • Residents and visitors for more than 4 weeks, from an infected area should receive an additional dose of the polio vaccine within 4 weeks to 12 months of travel.

  • Additional information on those affected areas in the countries are here: Zambia, Togo, Chad and Central Africa Republic.

 

Drug resistant Typhoid in Pakistan

  • There has been an increase in drug resistant typhoid into Europe returning from Pakistan.  Some of the cases were infected with extensively drug-resistant Salmonella typhi which is resistant to a number of commonly used antibiotics. 

  • Vaccine against typhoid should be considered for all travellers to Pakistan.

  • Typhoid is spread via the feacal oral route.  Precautionary measures should be taken to avoid consumption of potentially contaminated drinks, drinking water and ice and to ensure food is uncontaminated or cooked thoroughly. 

  • Personal hygiene when eating and drinking is also important including hand washing prior to eating. 

  • More information on Typhoid can be read here.

 

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