February 2019 updates includes health alerts in Philippines, DRC, Nigeria, Uganda and Jamaica. 

 

Medical product alert for falsified rabies vaccine in the Philippines:

  • On 30 January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a Medical Product Alert concerning falsified Verorab rabies vaccine circulating in the Philippines. The manufacture of the authentic Verorab product has confirmed that they did not manufacture the falsified vaccines.

  • If you have recently had a Rabies vaccine in the Philippines, contact your local travel clinic for advice.

  • For more information, please read here.
     

Ebola DRC continuing with moderate intensity:

  • According to the Ministry of Health in Democratic Republic of the Congo, transmission of Ebola virus disease continues in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces in the east of the country.

  • As of 12 February, there have been 823 cases reported, 762 confirmed cases and 517 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

  • This continuing epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces in the northeast of the country is the largest ever recorded in DRC and the second largest worldwide.

  • Risk to travellers of becoming infected with the Ebola virus is extremely low.

  • Ebola virus is spread via blood and body fluids of an infected person.

  • Travellers returning from DRC should seek rapid medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, diarrhoea or general malaise) within 3 weeks after return, and tell the health care provider of your recent trip.

  • For more information, please read here.
     

Lassa Fever in Nigeria:

  • According to the WHO, Lassa fever continues to be transmitted in Nigeria and a new outbreak was declared on 22 January 2019. There have been 77 new cases and 11 new deaths.

  • There have been 14 states involved: Ondo (28), Edo (24), Ebonyi (5), Plateau (5), Bauchi (3), Taraba (3), Benue (2), Enugu (1), Federal Capital Territory (1), Gombe (1), Kaduna (1), Kogi (1), Kwara (1) and Rivers (1).

  • Lassa fever is a low risk for most travellers unless living in poor sanitary conditions with overcrowding in rural areas. It is transmitted via the excreta of an infected Mastomys rat.

  • Travellers returning from affected areas who develop symptoms of fever, malaise, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain should seek medical advice.

  • For more information, please read here.
     

Cholera in Uganda:

  • There have been 53 cases of cholera, including 3 deaths, in Kampala City, Wakiso and Luwero from 7 January to 10 February. Most cases have been reported from informal settlements.

  • Travellers rarely contract cholera. All travellers should maintain good food, water and hand hygiene to reduce any risk.

  • For more information, please read here.
     

Dengue in Jamaica:

  • There has been an increase of dengue cases and a possible outbreak.

  • Travellers are advised to take mosquito bite prevention.

  • Individuals travelling to the affected regions can reduce their risk of acquiring dengue by taking precautions to minimise mosquito bites. Particular vigilance with insect bite prevention should be taken around dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit dengue are most active. 

  • For more information, please read here.
     

Information from Travel Health Pro, World Health Organisation, Travax and Fit for Travel and compiled by Jo Thompson.