Travel and Outbreaks: an update

Sick pregnant woman on bed

In addition to Covid-19, currently there are ongoing global outbreaks of the Measles, and for certain regions: Malaria, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Ebola, Dengue, Rubella, Monkeypox, Meningococcal disease, Lassa Fever, Chikungunya, and XDR Typhoid. 

Most of these regional outbreaks occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Polio, Yellow Fever, Meningococcal disease, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Malaria still ravage this part of the world in spite of the availability of vaccinations. 

According to the CDC, there is no specific vaccination for Ebola, Lassa Fever, or Monkeypox — which have all been circulating for decades with occasional active outbreaks, again, in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Ebola virus kills about half of those it infects and the Monkeypox virus has a rate of fatality from 1 to 15 percent of those it infects, with children’s fatality rate much higher of 15 to 20 percent. 

The Chikungunya disease also affects specific countries in Africa, such as Nigeria, Benin and Ethiopia. There is also no vaccination for the Chikungunya disease. 

Measles, which is currently under a global outbreak as well, the Measles has a case-fatality rate of 15% with residual neurologic damage occurring in as many as 25% of the cases, according to the Center for Disease Control. There is a vaccination for the Measles, which also protects again the Mumps and Rubella. 

Typhoid and Hepatitis-A are two diseases also prevalent in developing countries outside of Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the CDC, without effective treatment, Typhoid has a case-fatality rate of 10 to 30 percent. However, Hepatitis-A has a much lower average fatality rate of only .3%.

Particular to Latin America, Dengue is still affecting countries throughout the region. However, this is a retreat from six months ago, when Dengue was also affecting Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. Without treatment, Dengue has a fatality rate of up to 20%, but this rate is reduced to 2 to 5 percent with proper treatment. There is also vaccine for Dengue. 

Rubella has remained in Japan since the CDC reported on it in October 2018 even though there is a vaccination for Rubella.

The good news: last year, when LHA Travel researched and published a blog on global outbreaks, we discussed MERS and Zika. MERS is a respiratory illness affecting primarily the Middle East that had a fatality rate of 35%, while Zika affected countries in the tropics throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Oceana. While there is no vaccination for MERS nor for ZIKA, and the main protection against either virus is prevention, we are happy to report that these viruses are no longer listed by the CDC as ongoing active threats in any country in the world. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *