Travellers heading abroad should make sure they leave time before departure to check their vaccines history. There are many reasons travellers neglect to get their immunizations and unvaccinated individuals could be susceptible to illnesses such as measles.

Measles is a virus that is spread through droplets in the air from the cough and/or sneezes of an infected individual. It can also be spread when a person touches an object that has been recently exposed to mucus or saliva. Measles can cause complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death in some cases.

Measles is still common in many areas of the world and it is important to be vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of this disease.   Travellers who are not vaccinated risk getting sick, as well as bringing measles back from their trip and potential infecting others.

Prior to the availability of vaccinations many Canadians died from illness like measles that are now vaccine-preventable. Fortunately, there is a vaccine to help protect you. The vaccine contains a weakened form of the measles virus and does not cause the disease.

It is important to seek travel health advice prior to planning any trip, especially for those travelling overseas. Travellers should plan to have vaccinations done at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure to ensure vaccine effectiveness.

Getting vaccinated can help protect yourself and others and to minimize the risk of getting sick while travelling.   A lot of time, energy and money goes into planning a trip abroad, don’t let preventable illnesses ruin your trip away!

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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.

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Confirmed cases of Yellow Fever in Rural areas in Brazil

February 9, 2017

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 […]

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High rate of Cholera in Dominican Republic

June 22, 2016

The Ministry of Health in Dominican Republic has reported 780 cases of cholera since January 2016, this is a significant increase over the average incidence of cholera since 2013.   There have been over 60 cases of cholera reported a month. Cholera cases have primarily been reported in Santiago de los Caballeros and Cibao Norte Region. What […]

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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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