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Travel Health News – February 2019

A white page appears on a wooden desktop next to two starfish and a passport with money and a ticket inside. It says "Travel Health Alerts FEB 2019 Measles, Polio, and Zika Virus outbreaks in popular destinations. traveldoc.ca"

Measles outbreaks keep spreading to popular travel destinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel notices for the following countries:

Brazil, Colombia, Congo, England, France, Greece Indonesia, Isreal, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Moldova, the Phillippines, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Travellers are advised to receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before leaving the country.

Pregnant women are warned not to travel to India after reports of a Zika virus outbreak.

The Zika virus may cause severe birth defects and is spread through sex and mosquito bites.

Polio outbreak in Indonesia due to low vaccination rates.

The CDC advises adults heading to Indonesia get a single, lifetime Polio booster shot following the Polio vaccinations received during childhood.

Measles Outbreaks Reported in Israel, New Zealand, Moldova, and Colombia [Updated]

The stomach of a child wearing a green shirt, and who is being held up by two adult hands, is shown with a red bumpy measles rash.Travellers planning trips to Israel, New Zealand, Moldova, or Colombia should get vaccinated against the measles before departing, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Nov. 16, the CDC released three separate travel alerts after health officials reported outbreaks of the virus in Israel, New Zealand,  and Moldova. Four days later, the health agency also warned travellers about a measles outbreak in Colombia.*

The measles is an infectious airborne disease spread by breathing, coughing, and sneezing, which may result in serious complications leading to pneumonia or death. Signs and symptoms include a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, as well as red and watery eyes. Read more…

CDC Warns Pregnant Travellers about Rubella Outbreak in Japan

Travellers headed to Japan should get vaccinated against rubella to protect themselves from an outbreak in the country, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Rubella is an infectious disease spread by sneezes and coughs.  Also referred to as the “German Measles,” it causes rashes and fevers that usually last between two and three days and symptoms are often mild.

Prior to entering Japan, the CDC recommends travellers receive the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

Pregnant women, however, are warned not to enter the country due to the risks the rubella virus poses to developing babies. It is known to cause birth defects such as mental disabilities, deafness, cataracts, and organ damage.

Japanese health officials report that most cases are occurring in the Kanto region in locations such as Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama.

Source: CDC