CHILE – ZIKA INFECTION
Chilean Health authorities have reported the first known case of Zika infection; a mosquito borne infection not unlike Dengue, in the country’s Easter Island; with at least 40 other cases being tested. Visitors are reminded to take insect precautions especially for this day time biting mosquito.
NEW ZEALAND – MEASLES
Health authorities believe visitors to a Sydney Dance festival in December 2013 are the vectors for more than 70 cases of measles in the North Island this year. This is a reminder that Australians born after 1966 without a history of the disease should have x 2 vaccinations of this live vaccine in their life time.
VANUATU – DENGUE
Health authorities have reported a significant increase (>1000 cases) of Dengue primarily in the tourist areas of Port Villa and Luganville since January 2014. Day time mosquito protection is very important when visiting these areas.
USA – LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES
An outbreak of Listeria, a bacterial infection and the 3rd leading cause of death from food poisoning; has occurred in several states in the USA and has been linked to a semi-soft Hispanic-style cheese leading to a nationwide recall of all Roos Foods soft cheeses. 90% of those affected by Listeria are either pregnant and their newborns; those over 65 years or people with affected immune systems. More info
SAUDI ARABIA – MIDDLE EASTERN RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONAVIRUS (MERS-CoV)
Health authorities are remaining vigilant with monitoring of this severe strain of coronovirus only discovered in April 2012 which has lead to 80 deaths of the 184 laboratory confirmed cases since September 2012. Transmission of this virus is still unclear; with known human to human transmission; in hospital transmission and camel to human transmission still under investigation. While no travel restrictions have been advised general advice of avoiding sick animals; raw and under cooked foods together with general hygiene advice. Personal protective equipment when exposed to any one with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is vital.
Prepared by Dr Julie Burke TMA Yeppoon