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The following information has been published on the Travel Health Pro website by NaTHNaC:
Confirmed cases of Nipah virus infection(NiV) including fatalities and hospital admissions, have been reported in the southern state of Kerala. As of 25 May 2018, the Government of Kerala Directorate of Health Services has reported a total of 36 cases across 6 health districts: 14 confirmed and 22 suspected, including 11 confirmed deaths and one unconfirmed death. Confirmed cases have been reported from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts only.
NiV is an emerging virus that spreads to humans from animals (a zoonosis) and most human infections result from direct contact with sick animals, particularly bats and pigs, or their contaminated environments. NiV can cause a range of illnesses from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis. Treatment is limited to supportive care.
Eating or drinking fruit or fruit products (such as raw date palm juice) contaminated with urine/saliva from infected fruit bats is a likely source of infection. Transmission also occurs from direct exposure to infected bats, and limited human to human transmission of NiV has also been reported among family and care givers of NiV patients, including in hospital settings.
Advice from Travel Health Pro for travellers
The risk to tourists to southern India is currently very low if standard precautions are taken, but the risk to other UK travellers (such as those visiting friends and family) in Kerala may be higher, depending on activities undertaken.
There is currently no licenced vaccine to protect against NiV. If you are travelling to risk areas, pay careful attention to personal hygiene, and avoid contact with animals, especially bats and pigs, as much as possible. Gloves and other protective clothing should be worn if handling sick animals or their tissues, and during slaughtering and culling procedures.
Raw or partially fermented date palm juice should be boiled and all fruit should be thoroughly washed with clean water and peeled before consumption. Close, unprotected physical contact with people with NiV infection should be avoided. Regular hand washing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.
There is currently an outbreak of Lassa fever in 36 states in Nigeria. To date there have been over 350 laboratory confirmed cases reported, at least 16 in health care workers. All travellers to Nigeria should be made aware of this situation.
British Global and Travel Health Association In association with The Faculty of Travel Medicine 17th Annual Conference – 3rd March 2018
This conference aims to promote a multi-disciplinary approach to travel and global health by bringing together the various disciplines involved in global health and the health of travellers. The day will provide information and education on travel and global health issues to increase the understanding of the travel medicine discipline.
Who should attend?
Anyone with an interest or involvement in travel medicine:
What does the conference cover?
A large range of topics to update practitioners in travel medicine. New insights into a variety of issues in Global Health