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Blog Words : Wanderlust health advice | 30 June

Wanderlust travel health update: India, Tanzania, Egypt

Weekly round-up of the world's travel health news from Nomad including dengue fever in India, measles in Tanzania and avian 'flu in Egypt

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.

India – Malaria

Malaria is fast spreading its tentacles in Greater Hyderabad. To date, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has recorded as many as 145 malaria cases in the twin cities.

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.

India – Suspected Japanese Encephalitis

Suspected mosquito-borne encephalitis has killed 36 children in Bihar in the past week, but the state government is yet to identify the disease and its health officials are still guessing to diagnose it.

Advice to travelers

Japanese Encephalitis is spread by night biting mosquitoes in certain parts of Asia. Outbreaks occur mainly during or just after monsoon time however can happen year round. The risk to short term travellers is very low, particularly if they are only visiting urban areas, with overall estimates of one case per million travellers. The risk becomes greater for persons who intend to live or travel in risk areas for long periods of time, and have rural trips during transmission seasons.

The majority of cases of Japanese Encephalitis are asymptomatic or non-specific. Children and the elderly most commonly suffer a clinical illness, which can be severe. Encephalitis is estimated to occur in one in 300 patients. (NaTHNaC). Travellers to affected areas
should seek advice prior to their trip. Vaccination is available and consists of two or three injections over a four to six week period. Bite avoidance is essential.

Egypt – Avian ‘Flu

The Ministry of Health of Egypt has notified WHO of a new case of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. The case is a 27-year-old man from Qena governorate, Deshna district.

Advice to travellers

Avian Flu is spread through close contact with infected poultry. Avoid contact with poultry and wild birds (e.g. markets, farms). Wash your hands frequently and well, consider carrying a hand sanitiser gel with you, avoid eating undercooked or uncooked poultry or eggs.

Tanzania – Measles

The government announced a fresh outbreak of measles that has so far killed 18 people since it was reported earlier this year. Prevention Services said out of 1,573 cases reported since January (2011), children under the age of five who are at the highest risk of being affected by the highly-infectious disease accounted for 68% of the total cases.

Arusha leads with ten deaths and 642 patients, followed by Dar es Salam where seven have already died and 349 cases reported (Via Health Map).

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.

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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