September Travel Health Update

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

COVID-19 Update

  • As of 27th August  2021, there have been 214.5 million confirmed cases with over 4.4 million deaths. 
  • 5 billion vaccines have been administered globally by 25 August 2021.
  • The WHO reports that the number of new cases reported globally seems to be plateauing after increasing for nearly two months (since mid-June)
  • 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.
  • Visit our website for more resources. More information can be found at the WHO, NHS and FCO website.

Other health considerations if travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic (by Fit for Travel):

  • During the current pandemic, it is important to remember that you may be exposed during travel to many different illnesses and health risks, not just COVID.
  • Many travel related diseases begin with the vague or generalised ‘flu like’ symptoms, often accompanied with a high temperature (fever). 
  • It is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible if you become unwell and/or develop a high temperature either during your trip, or once you return home, even if it;s up to one month after travel.
  • Malaria – serious infection transmitted via mosquitoes. Can become serious quickly if not diagnosed. Protect yourself with bite prevention measures and taking anti-malaria medication (if recommended).
  • Mosquito and other insect bites – mosquitoes can transmit other diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever and zika infection.  Use bite prevention measures such as sleeping under a mosquito net and using insect repellents.
  • Food and water precautions – some illnesses are transmitted to humans from eating or drinking food and water which has been contaminated by germs (bacteria or virus). You should always take safe food and water precautions to protect against travellers diarrhoea, typhoid and hepatitis A.
  • Airborne diseases – common cold, chest infections, flu and COVID are some of the many diseases which are transmitted when you breathe in infected droplets in the air released by people with the infection or touching surfaces which have been contaminated.  Washing hands regularly can reduce your risk.
  • Risks from the environment – Accidents, sunburn, heat stroke or animal bites are examples of how you might be injured or unwell from the environment that you travel. Always research where you are travelling to and take comprehensive insurance.
  • More information here

Ebola case – Cote d’Ivoire

  • The Cote d’Ivoire reported its first case of Ebola since 1994 
  • The case is an 18 year old person who travelled from Guinea. The case was confirmed on the 14th  August 2021.
  • It is not yet clear if there is a link to the recent outbreak in Guinea that ended in June 2021.
  • Advice to travellers – Ebola is spread via contact with the blood, body fluids organs of a person or animal with the infection.
  • The risk for travellers is extremely low but if you are travelling to an infected area then you need to be aware of the risk of the infection
  • If you return home from an Ebola area in the last 21 days and develop a high temperature after having contact with an infected person, then please seek rapid medical attention via NHS 111 for advice.
  • More information here

Marburg in Guinea

  • On the 6th August 2021, the WHO was informed of a Marburg virus disease in the Nzerekore Region of south west Guinea.
  • This is the first case of Marburg in West Africa
  • Marburg disease is a type of viral haemorrhagic fever, similar to Ebola. The virus lives in African fruit bats and can be passed to people when they come into contact with the bats.
  • The risk to travellers is extremely low. If you are travelling to an outbreak area then you must be aware of the risk of the infection.
  • If you return home from a Marburg area in the last 21 days and develop a high temperature after having contact with an infected person, then please seek rapid medical attention via NHS 111 for advice.

Information in this post comes from Travel Health Pro, World Health Organisation, Travax and Fit for Travel.

Similar Posts