Weekly health advice from Nomad 11 May
Blog Words : Wanderlust health advice | 12 May

Weekly travel health update from Nomad

Weekly round-up of the world's travel health news from Nomad

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

Australia - Murray Valley Encephalitis

A South Australian man has died of Murray Valley Encephalitis. The 27-year-old man, was taken to hospital with the mosquito-borne disease.

"Two confirmed cases of MVE have been reported in South Australia this year, the first reported cases of locally-acquired MVE since 1974," SA Health chief medical officer Professor Paddy Phillips said in a statement. "It is with deep sadness that we announce that one of the people who contracted MVE has died."

Advice to travellers

Murray River Encephalitis (MVE) is spread via the bite of an infected mosquito usually during the summer and autumn months. Most people infected by MVE experience no or mild symptoms, but in about one in 1,000 cases symptoms can worsen to include neck stiffness, tremors, and seizures. There is no vaccination and therefore travelers should try to avoid mosquito bites with the use of 50% DEET (repellant) and consider premethrin treated clothes.

France – Measles

The Institut de Veille Sanitaire (INVS) has just updated the epidemiological data on the measles epidemic now raging in France. Since January 1, 2008, over 14,500 cases of measles have been reported in France. The increase in the number of cases reported since October 2010 signaled the third wave of the epidemic, which is continuing in the early months of 2011. This third wave is very large, with over 9,000 mandatory notification forms received at the INVS concerning cases that occurred between October 2010 and March 2011. Over 3,000 cases were reported in March 2011 alone.

Advice to travellers

Measles is easily spread through coughing and sneezing. Ensure you have been fully vaccinated prior to visiting affected areas. If no history of vaccination or if you are unsure, in adults, two vaccines given ideally one month apart will provide cover.

Kenya – Yellow Fever

The government has dispelled fears over the presence of yellow fever in Baringo and the country in general. Public health minister Beth Mugo said on Wednesday, May 4, that currently there are no laboratory-confirmed cases of the disease, allaying fears on the prevalence of the fever-disease.

"I assure the general public that those intending to visit the country that there are no known cases that meet the case definition standard or are laboratory confirmed to be yellow fever," she told journalists at a media briefing at her Afya House office.