Author: Visa Adviser

Sick pregnant woman on bed

Global measles outbreak still in effect. The Measles is caused by an airborne virus, spread through breathing, coughing, sneezing . Its symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, running nose, watery eyes. Untreated and severe cases of measles infection can lead to pneumonia and death.  Measles cases have increased to higher than normal levels in every country, including the United States. Ensure that you and your travel companions six months or older (as suggested by the CDC) are properly vaccinated before your international travel.

Ebola remains a threat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ebola is a rare and deadly disease that is caused by contact with blood or other bodily fluids of a person infected with the Ebola virus. It may also be spread by contact with contaminated objects or infected animals. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and bleeding and bruising. Currently there are outbreaks in the North and South Kivu, and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Travelers are advised to take precaution as there is no FDA approved vaccine or treatment for Ebola and it is fatal for many infected.

Rubella in Japan. Also known as the German measles, it is spread by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include rash and fever for two to three days. Rubella is particularly dangerous for pregnant women as it can cause birth defects such as deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental disability, and organ damage. Currently there are higher than normal reported cases in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama. Ensure you get your vaccinations prior to travel.

Polio in parts of Asia and Africa. Polio is a crippling and potentially lethal viral disease that affects the nervous system and is spread through the feces of the infected person.  Good sanitation practices can prevent the spread of the Polio virus. Symptoms may include fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, stiffness in the neck and back, arm and back pain. However, many with polio may not feel sick.  In serious cases, polio can lead to loss of muscle function (paralysis). Polio outbreak has been reported in Afghanistan, Burma, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Togo, and Zambia.

Yellow Fever and Monkeypox in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Yellow fever is caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, back aches, muscle aches, and the appearance yellowing in the eye. About fifteen percent of those infected develop serious illness including bleeding, shock, organ failure and sometimes death.  Travelers are advised to be vaccinated for Yellow Fever if going to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease caused through contact with infected animals or people contaminated with the virus.  Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion.  Monkeypox is fatal in about 10% of the people who are infected. Travelers are encouraged to exercise usual precaution against Monkeypox if traveling to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pneumonia of unknown cause in China. There is an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China, with 59 reported cases, of which the cause remains unknown. The cases appear to be clustered around the Wuhan South China Seafood City, which has been closed since January 1, 2020.  Travelers are urged to avoid animals, animal markets, uncooked meats, contact with sick people, and to wash their hands often with soap and water.

Chikungunya in Ethiopia. Chikungunya is a viral infection spread by infected mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever and joint main, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.  Infected individuals in certain age groups (newborns or those over 65, or those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heat disease) are at higher risk of developing a severe and debilitating case — which can be fatal. Currently there are no vaccines or medication to treat Chikungunya, so travelers are encouraged to practice precaution against mosquito bites.

Dengue in parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific and the Central and South Americas. Dengue is a viral infection caused by mosquito bites. Dengue can take up to two weeks to cause symptoms which include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle and joint pain, minor bleeding. Severe cases can include hemorrhage, shock, organ failure, and death. Dengue outbreaks are currently ongoing in Bangladesh, Cook Islands, Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Singapore, and Sri Lanka in Asia. There are also outbreaks in Africa and the Middle East in: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Reunion, Somalia, Tanzania, parts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and the Americas, including: Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay. Travelers to the foregoing countries are encouraged to visit this site for additional information on prevention and vacation of Dengue (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/dengue).  

XDR Typhoid Fever in Pakistan. Typhoid is a serious bacterial infection that spreads though contaminated food and water. Symptoms include high fever, weakness, stomach pain, headache, cough, loss of appetite, and may include diarrhea or constipation. Serious cases of Typhoid can be fatal. The XDR strand of typhoid is a particular type of drug resistant strand found in Pakistan.  Therefore, while there are antibiotics and vaccination for Typhoid generally, travelers are encouraged to follow the CDC suggested vaccination for Typhoid if planning to visit Pakistan.

Lassa Fever in Nigeria. Lassa fever is a viral disease spread through infected rodents and their droppings or through close contact with an infected person. Its symptoms include fever, weakness, and headache. In severe cases, bleeding in the gums, eyes, or nose may occur, as well as difficulty breathing, vomiting, facial swelling, pain the chest, back and abdomen, shock or even death. Travelers are encouraged to exercise precaution and take all healthy measures against contact with rats, rats’ urine or feces, and to maintain cleanliness in their quarters.

Malaria in Burundi. Malaria is a parasite transmitted through mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, chills, sweats, headache, vomiting, and aches.  Malia can result in severe illness and death if untreated.  The outbreak in Burundi has resulted in the infection of half of the population at present (six million out of a total of 12 million).  There are prescription medications as well as vaccinations available for malaria. As well, travelers are encouraged to take steps to prevent mosquito bites when traveling to Burundi.

For detailed updates on the travel warnings posted above, please visit: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.  LHA Travel also updates each country with the latest vaccination and outbreak notices. Get all your travel information conveniently through our Visa Adviser® app.

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