Travel Health

July Travel Health Update

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

COVID-19

  • The first case of Coronavirus was reported on 31 December 2019 in Wuhan city in China.  It has since spread worldwide.
  • As of 25th June  2021, there have been 179, 686, 071 confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide with over 3.9 million deaths.  With 2, 624 733 776 vaccines administered  globally.
  • The WHO reports that SE Asia and Europe have recorded a decrease in COVID-19 cases this week but African regions have seen an increase in weekly cases.  The DRC, Namibia and Uganda have recorded the highest number of new cases since the pandemic began as the 3rd wave gains pace.
  • 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 to many locations.  These are under constant review. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. COVID free certificates or evidence may be required for entry to countries so please check the FCDO website. Follow local Government guidance on COVID-19 in each country.
  • The UK Government has set up a Global Travel Taskforce which has made recommendations including the launch of the new traffic light system for International travel. More information here including  red list countries. Border controls are changing very quickly.
  • COVID-19 is spread via droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Practice good respiratory etiquette and do not touch your face.
  • 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 regularly, 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 wear a mask in public places. When you cough or sneeze, if not wearing a mask, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve, 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.
  • Remember – KEEP DISTANCE – try to keep at least 2 metre away from people not in your household ‘bubble’.
  • Remember – VENTILATION – try open windows where able, to limit transmission.
  • Please remember to follow your local Government guidelines on coronavirus precautions.
  • If you are in the UK: 
    • The UK government states –  If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for at least 10 days from when the symptoms started.  If you live with others then all your household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days.  If your symptoms worsen or are no better after 10 days then contact NHS 111.  
    • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 then please arrange for a test via NHS.uk or phone 119.

An information sheet on COVID-19 is available to download here. You can also visit our website for more resources related to COVID-19 here.

More information here: WHO | NHS | FCO

Ebola Outbreak in Guinea

  • The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak that began in February 2021 in N’Zerekore Prefecture, Guinea  was declared over on 19 June 2021. 
  • This EVD outbreak, there were 23 cases, 12 of whom died.

Monkeypox in North Wales

  • There have been 2 cases of monkeypox in North Wales.  The first case arrived in the UK on 8 May 2021 after living and working in Delta State, Nigeria, where monkeypox is known to occur.
  • On the 10th May, the individual developed a rash while in quarantine and was admitted to hospital.  On the 29th May, a family member living with the individual became unwell and was also diagnosed with monkeypox and admitted to hospital.
  • Both individuals are recovering.  Public health authorities advise that precautions have been taken with contact tracing. The risk to the public is low. Since 2018, a total of 5 cases of monkeypox have been imported into the UK.
  • Monkeypox occurs mainly in forested areas of Central and Western Africa.  Most infections result from direct contact with infected animals, primarily primates and rodents.  Person to person contact can occur.  
  • Symptoms in human commerce with fever and flu-like illness followed by a skin rash.
  • Travellers to Central and Western Africa should avoid contact with primates and rodents and avoid consuming undercooked meat from these sources. Strict hand washing protocols if visiting or caring for ill friends and relatives. 
  • More information can be found here. 

Crimean-Confo Hemorrhagic Fever In Spain

  • On the 18th June, there were 2 reported cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in Spain.
  • Both cases were identified in the communities of Castile and Leon. The first case was in Salmanca in April and the second was in Leon in June.  Both cases have been linked to tick bites. 
  • CCHF is a potentially fatal, tick-borne, viral haemorrhagic fever.  It is found in over 30 countries in Africa, Aisa, the Middle-East and Estern/Southern Europe.  It is uncommon in Spain but a small number of cases have been identified in recent years.
  • CCHF is spread by ticks infected from an animal reservoir such as cattle, sheep and goats.  It can also be transmitted by having contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected animal or person. 
  • It is very rare in travellers.  Those with an increased risk are those visiting an endemic region and are hiking, camping in rural areas or visiting farms.  
  • To prevent the disease, travellers should prevent transmission by practising tick bite avoidance measures.
  • More information here.

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

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