IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Outbreaks

A pile of tires. Photo by FreeImages.com/RonalSchuster

Dengue: Innovative solutions to a global health issue

Compared to other diseases whose flare-ups have captivated the media, Dengue is a slow burn. In 1970, only 9 countries experienced severe epidemics of Dengue, but today the virus circulates continuously (endemic) in over 100 countries – including parts of Africa, the Americas, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific. Mild cases often go unnoticed or unreported, so it’s difficult to estimate the number of people affected, but one study suggests that 390 million infections occur each year. The Dengue virus Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by daytime biting female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Many people who are infected are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t have any symptoms, while others have flu-like symptoms with fever, rash, ...

By James Gathany (PHIL, CDC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Chikungunya and Zika: Let’s talk about mosquitoes

UPDATE: March 31, 2016. This post has been updated with new information about Zika Virus. Travelling south to escape the winter blues? Travellers planning a sun vacation are contacting us wondering about the risk of Zika and Chikungunya. Currently, countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America are reporting cases. Understanding mosquito behaviour and brushing up on your mosquito bite prevention skills are two ways to reduce your risk so that you can enjoy your holiday. 6 things you should know about Chikungunya and Zika Both viruses are primarily transmitted by daytime biting Aedes aegypti  female mosquitoes. There are no preventive vaccines or medications; treatment includes supportive care of symptoms. The illnesses are usually self-limiting – they typically run their ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Mind Your Food and Water Abroad

The recent illnesses and deaths caused by the E.coli outbreak in Europe, remind us of the complexities of food systems and that you don’t have to travel to get sick: Food- and water-borne illnesses happen in our own backyard. Gastro-intestinal infections can happen in any country. Getting food to your plate involves a variety of players including growers, transportation companies, processors, retailers, food handlers, consumers, and government regulations. While food coming from a local source may get to your table faster than food grown far away, both conventionally and organically grown products are susceptible to carrying pathogens like E. coli and salmonella. Unsanitary farming conditions, poor food processing and handling practices, lack of food and import surveillance inspectors, and ...

Travel Health Journal