Wanderlust health news supplied by Nomad
Blog Words : Wanderlust health advice | 08 September

Wanderlust travel health update: India and South East Asia special

This week's world health news from Nomad. An India and South East Asia round-up including: hand, foot and mouth disease, malaria and more

This health advice is provided by Nomad, who offer Wanderlust visitors 10% off equipment online and in store including 10% off vaccinations. See the Nomad website for more details.

Cambodia – Dengue Fever

The number of people hospitalised with dengue fever has increased by more than 25% this year compared with last year, and there have been almost three times as many deaths, according to National Dengue Control Program (NDCP) statistics.

India – Dengue Fever

Delhi: Seven new cases of dengue were reported in the city, taking the total number of cases of the disease to 73 this season.

Ahmadabad: Six more cases of dengue were registered in the city. This has taken the total number of dengue cases registered in Ahmadabad to 112.

Philippines – Dengue Fever

A total of 45,333 dengue cases were recorded nationwide by the Department of Health, which is -33.5% from the 68,168 cases in the same period last year. This latest report stated that 34,652 cases are in Luzon, 5,091 in Visayas, and 5,590 in Mindanao.

Vietnam – Dengue Fever

So far this year, the country has reported that more than 31,000 people contracted dengue fever with 27 reported fatalities. This August alone, around 8,200 fresh cases of dengue fever were reported across the country.

Advice to travellers

Dengue fever is spread by daytime biting mosquitoes normally from sunrise to sunset and is more common in urban areas. It causes a high ‘breakbone’ fever (pain all over), accompanied with headache, rash. It lasts a few days and will resolve itself. If caught a second time it has a 2% chance of developing into dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal. There is currently no vaccine available and therefore insect bite avoidance is essential.

Bali – Rabies

The death toll from the rabies outbreak on the Indonesian island of Bali continues to climb. It is believed at least 132 (up from 124 in February 2011) people have died since the epidemic broke out in October 2008. But because Bali doesn't have proper reporting procedures, the toll could potentially be higher.

Advice to travellers

Travellers are advised to consider pre-travel rabies vaccine, this consists of a course of three vaccines administered over the course of 21 to 28 days; this removes the need for rabies immunoglobulin in the event of an injury. Animal contact should be avoided wherever possible and in the event of contact with animal saliva any wound should be thoroughly washed with soap and water and Iodine or Alcohol applied.

Medical advice should be sought as soon as possible even if vaccinated with a full course of rabies vaccine.

India – Malaria

Yamunanagar district: The Health Department has detected about 2,900 malaria cases at government and private hospitals of Yamunanagar district in the past month. During a survey of about 51 places of the district, including government hospitals, government colonies and private hospitals, it as found that water logging in some parts of the district after floods was found to be a home for hundreds of mosquitoes.

Advice to travellers

Travellers to the affected area should seek expert advice before they travel regarding the most suitable form of malaria tablets for their trip and medical history. They should ensure that they take the tablets as
advised or they will not work as well. Malaria tablets are approximately 90–95% effective when taken properly, so bite avoidance should also be adhered to. Always wear 20-50% DEET on all exposed skin, sleep under a mosquito net and wear long clothing to protect you. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes generally bite between sunset and sunrise.

Malaysia – Hand, Foot and Mouth

The Health Ministry has reported a total of 2,919 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, so far this year. Most cases were recorded in five states – Sarawak with 914 cases,
Selangor (513 cases), Johor (300 cases), Perlis (300 cases) and Pulau Pinang (263 cases)

Source: Travax

Vietnam – Hand, Foot and Mouth

An outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in Vietnam has caused 35,000 cases and 83 deaths
this year. 52 out of 62 cities and provinces have reported cases and the southern region of the country has been hit the hardest, where nearly 80% of the cases have been reported.

Advice to travellers

Hand foot and mouth disease is a viral illness that most commonly affects children under ten years of age, however older children and adults are sometimes affected. It causes a fever, sore throat, quickly followed by small spots that develop inside the mouth. These soon progress into small mouth ulcers, and sometimes also develop on the skin. It is spread via direct contact with nose and throat secretions and faeces from an infected individual and by aerosol droplet spread. Contact with infected children should be limited and crowded situations avoided; personal hygiene and hand-washing is essential.

India (Gujurat) – Leptosporosis

As of 27 August there have been 228 cases and 46 deaths recorded due to leptosporosis. The disease has been reported for the first time within city limits in south Gujarat, normally it spreads mostly in rural areas.

Advice to travellers

A bacterial infection spread by rodents mainly rats or small mammals through contaminated water. The infection comes from the urine or other secretions of the mammal and enters the human via open skin
lesions and/or mucous membranes.

Travellers should avoid contact with potentially contaminated water (rivers, flooded areas etc). They should shower well after any possible exposure and protect any open cuts/lesions with waterproof plasters.

All outbreak information has been sourced from Promed.

More like this

For more travel health stories see our health news pages

For travel health articles check our Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth's features here

More information on Dengue Fever can be found here: Dealing with Dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases

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