Travel News

As of January 2016 over 520 cases of pertussis, primarily in infants, have been reported in Portugal.   This is a significant increase over the average incidence rate.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease.  Symptoms usually develop in 5-10 days and are similar to a cold with runny nose, mild cough and/or fever.

Pertussis is also known as the “100 day cough” and can cause a loud “whoop” sound; people with minor cases may not present with the whooping sound. Serious illness can occur in infants, children, and adults.  The most serious cases of pertussis occur in infants, those under 1 year of age often require hospitalization. Many babies with pertussis do not present with a cough and instead suffer from apnea (pause in breathing).

Health Canada recommends one adult booster of pertussis (Tetanus/Diptheria with acellular Pertussis) even if they have received a dose of Tetanus/Diptheria in the last 10 years.  All travelling adults should receive this booster dose of pertussis.

The childhood dose is given as part of BC’s standard immunizations.  Adult dose is recommended to boost the immune system but is not provided free in BC.  Immunization not only helps protect yourself but others around you as well.


More than 390 human cases of yellow fever have been reported and confirmed in rural areas of Brazil since December 2016.  Brazil’s Ministry of Health has reported cases in Minas Gerais State, Espirito Santo State,  and Bahia State.  There are also reported cases of deceased monkeys due to yellow fever in the same states.   The last major outbreak of yellow fever in these areas were in 2008.

Travellers are recommended to receive the yellow fever vaccination prior to travel to risk areas for yellow fever and follow strict insect precautions.  It is important to seek travel health advise prior to any trip abroad.  The recommended time frame for travel health advice is a minimum of 4-6 weeks before departure to allow enough time for vaccine effectiveness and to start any vaccine series if necessary.

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a vaccine preventable virus transmitted to human by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.   The virus attacks the liver and causes jaundice (yellow of the skin and eyes).

Risk varies traveler to traveler depending on destination(s), length of trip, medical contraindication etc.  The yellow fever mosquito typically bites during the day and especially at sunrise and sunset.

Symptom onset is general 3-6 days and can include:

fever chills joint/muscle pain abdominal pain nausea fatigue severe cases of yellow fever virus infection lead to shock, internal bleeding, jaundice and subsequent organ failure which can result in death.

PHAC Insect Precautions To book an appointment



Zika Virus in Cuba

April 20, 2016

Zika Travel Health update: Since March 19th 2016 local transmission has occurred in Cuba.  Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area of acquired Zika and are transmitting it to humans. Travellers to Cuba are advised to use insect precautions while abroad.  Seek travel health advice a minimum of 4-6 weeks before departure to stay […]

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Zika Virus; Warnings for Travellers

February 5, 2016

Zika Virus has now spread over most of the Caribbean Islands, as well as Central and South America.  Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes and is from the same family as the dengue and West Nile viruses.  The majority of Zika virus infection cases present with fever, headache, joint pain, fatigue, rash and conjunctivitis.  Mild […]

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Day-Biting mosquitoes have increased throughout the Americas

January 19, 2016

Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and Zika Virus transmitted by day-biting mosquitoes have increased throughout the tropical and sub-tropical Americas.   The illnesses are not currently vaccine preventable and can all cause similar symptoms including fever, body aches and pains and more severe symptoms which can include organ dysfunction. Travellers are advised to continue to practice strict daytime and […]

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Dengue Fever cases increase in Hawaii; Outbreak has yet to peak

November 25, 2015

Since September 2015, Hawaii’s Department of Health has confirmed 72 cases of locally acquired dengue fever across the Big Island.  These are the first locally acquired cases of dengue fever since 2011.  10 of the 72 cases were visitors to Hawaii.   There may be additional cases of dengue fever in Hawaii who have not sought medical […]

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Travelling to Cuba? Have you been informed about Cholera?

October 23, 2015

The Pan American Health Organization  has reported over 20 laboratory confirmed cases of cholera in Cuba since August 2015.   Confirmed cases have been reported in Holguin Province; unofficial reports of cholera cases have also been in Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba provinces. What is Cholera? Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by an infection of the […]

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First cases of dog rabies reported in Malaysia

September 18, 2015

      Since July 2015, press sources in Malaysia have  reported more than 25 cases of rabies from dogs in the states of Perlis, Kedah and Pulau Pinang.   Malaysia has not reported cases of dog rabies since 1999. Malaysia is a developing nation located in South East Asia.  Certain Travellers are recommended for the […]

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Ebola Vaccine being tested in Guinea

August 21, 2015

Vaccines to prevent and treat Ebola virus diseases are an urgent international priority.  A vaccine against Ebola virus is currently under trials in Guinea, West Africa.  The first results are promising and show effectiveness in preventing Ebola virus diseases in laboratory diagnoses cases.   The vaccine produces a rapid immune response against the Ebola Virus in […]

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Ecuador’s Ministry of Health Reports Increase in Dengue Fever Cases

June 4, 2015

Since January 2015, Ecuador’s Ministry of Health has reported 20, 800 cases of dengue fever.  More than 2,370 weekly cases of dengue fever are being reported.   Cases are primarily occurring in Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas, Los Rios and El Oro Provinces. What is Dengue Fever? Dengue fever is a viral infection spread through the bite of […]

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