Travel Vaccine Breaking News

Travel vaccine breaking news brought to you by Vax Before Travel.

Dec 1, 2022 • 5:09 pm CST
from Pixabay

The government of the Republic of Korea recently announced it would donate the first batch of the Mpox vaccine to Africa through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The World Health Organization declared the global Mpox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern in July 2022.

Africa has yet to receive vaccines to stem the spread of Mpox, which remains a serious public health threat.

The donation was announced during a bilateral meeting between the Acting Director General of Africa CDC, Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) Commissioner PECK Kyong Ran on November 29, 2022.

During the announcement, Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma noted in a press release, "I welcome the collaboration between the Republic of Korea and Africa CDC, which has resulted in this donation."

"We appreciate this gesture and assure you that these Mpox vaccines will be prioritized in the most affected African Union Member States."

The donation by KDCA is a culmination of the collaboration and cooperative agreement signed in April 2022 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Africa CDC and KDCA.

The U.S. CDC reported on December 1, 2022, that 81,878 Mpox cases and 61 related fatalities were confirmed since May 2022.

Additional Mpox outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Monkeypox.

Nov 29, 2022 • 4:39 pm CST
ECDC Dengue 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported yesterday a surge of dengue cases started in the People's Republic of Bangladesh in June 2022.

The high incidence of dengue cases this year occurs in the context of an unusual amount of rainfall.

The current outbreak is unusual in its scale and seasonality, stated the WHO on November 28, 2022.

Currently, all eight divisions in Bangladesh are reporting dengue cases and fatalities.

The most affected division is Dhaka, accounting for 70.6% of cases (34,071) and 60.4% of fatalities.

The largest dengue outbreak in Bangladesh occurred in 2019.

Dhaka city the largest city in Bangladesh, with about ten million residents. Bangladesh tourism statistics for 2020 showed a 44% decline from 2019.

Dengue is a disease caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites.

The disease can take up to two weeks to develop, with illness generally lasting less than a week.

In this region, two dengue vaccines are authorized: Dengvaxia and Qdenga.

To notify travelers of their dengue health risks, the U.S. CDC issued a Level 1 Dengue Alert in Asia and the Pacific Islands on September 6, 2022.

Other dengue outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Dengue.

Nov 29, 2022 • 1:05 pm CST
by Fikih Firmansyah

Children in school uniforms and toddlers with their parents began lining up for polio vaccinations in the Sigli town square on the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

According to reporting by VOA on November 28, 2022, this vaccination campaign follows four children infected with the highly contagious disease. Indonesia plans to vaccinate 1.2 million children expeditiously.

Poliovirus was first detected in October 2022 in a 7-year-old boy suffering from partial paralysis in the province of Aceh near Sigli.

Polio was declared eliminated in Indonesia less than a decade ago.

With some 275 million people, Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous nation.

About 1.5 million people visited Indonesia in 2021, reported Statista.

Polio is a vaccine-preventable disease, says the U.S. CDC.

However, new poliovirus cases were found in Afghanistan, Algeria, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Nigeria, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

And 'anyone planning to travel internationally should confirm they are fully vaccinated against polio disease before visiting at-risk countries,' says the CDC.

In addition to polio vaccinations, the CDC suggests various travel vaccines, such as yellow fever and measles, before visiting Indonesia.

Other polio outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Polio.

Nov 28, 2022 • 9:58 am CST
by Markus Winkler

Following a series of consultations with global experts, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today it would begin using the preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox.

In August 2022, a group convened by WHO agreed on new names for monkeypox virus variants as part of ongoing efforts to align the terms of the Mpox disease, virus, and variants – or clades.

The consensus was reached to refer to the former Congo Basin (Central African) clade as Clade one (I) and the former West African clade as Clade two (II).

Additionally, it was agreed that Clade II consists of two subclades, IIa and IIb.

Human monkeypox was given its name in 1970 after the virus that causes the disease was discovered in 1958. 

Furthermore, the overall risk of Mpox infection is assessed as moderate for men (MSM) and low for the broader population. 

Mpox vaccine news is posted at PrecisionVaccinatins.com/Monkeypox.

Nov 27, 2022 • 2:08 pm CST
U.S. CDC

A species of malaria-carrying mosquito is spreading in Africa, where it could pose a "unique" threat to millions of city-dweller, reported AFP/RFI.

The disease can cause fever, chills, and flu-like illness. If it is not treated, it can cause severe complications.

This is important since Africa is where about 95% of the world's malaria deaths occur.

Modeling research in 2020 found that if Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes spread widely in Africa, it would put more than 126 million people in 44 cities at risk of malaria.

The findings come after the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research confirmed in July 2022 it had detected Anopheles stephensi in West Africa for the first time.

Sarah Zohdy, a specialist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told AFP it was "surprising" that the mosquito was detected so far west, as the focus had been on the Horn of Africa.

"The evidence now suggests that this is something that the world needs to act on."

Annually, millions of U.S. residents travel to countries where malaria is present, with about 2,000 cases diagnosed mostly in returned travelers.

The CDC says an individual risk assessment should be conducted for every traveler, taking into account the destination country and the detailed itinerary, including specific cities, types of accommodation, seasons, and travel styles.

According to the CDC, Malaria is a vaccine-preventable disease. 

On October 6, 2021, the World Health Organization recommended the Mosquirix™ (RTS,S) malaria vaccine.

As of November 26, 2022, the U.S. FDA had not approved a malaria vaccine.

However, the FDA did approve Artesunate to treat severe malaria in adult and pediatric patients in May 2020.

Additional malaria news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Malaria.

Nov 27, 2022 • 6:26 am CST
WHO

Since the onset of the latest cholera outbreak, UNICEF reported about 90% of confirmed cholera cases in Haiti had been reported in areas most affected by the country's nutrition crisis.

Children suffering from severe acute malnutrition are more vulnerable to cholera and at least three times more at risk of dying from the disease.

After more than three years with no cases, national authorities reported a cholera outbreak in October 2022.

As of November 21, 2022, Haiti's Ministry of Health reported 924 confirmed cholera cases, over 10,600 suspected cases, and 188 related fatalities.

"In Haiti, the vicious cycle between malnutrition and cholera can be broken," said Manuel Fontaine, Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes, in a press release on November 23, 2022.

"Simple, affordable, and effective treatment can save Haitian children's lives, as long as we reach the most vulnerable families before it's too late."

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.

Currently, there are three WHO pre-qualified oral cholera vaccines (OCV): Dukoral®, ShanChol™, and Euvichol®, mainly used for travelers. 

All three OCVs require two doses for complete protection and are not available in the U.S.

The U.S. FDA has approved Vaxchora®, a live attenuated recombinant V. cholerae O1 Inaba Vaccine Strain CVD 103-HgR. 

It is recommended for adult travelers, and the European Medicine Agency recommends it for children who visit an area of active cholera transmission.

In addition to cholera, the U.S. CDC suggests various travel vaccines, such as yellow fever and measles, before visiting Haiti.

Nov 26, 2022 • 3:14 pm CST
SUDV cases in Uganda 2022

@BNOFeed Tweeted today the Republic of Uganda has extended for 21 days the lockdown in certain districts focused on the current Sudan Ebolavirus (SUDV) outbreak.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported on November 22, 2022, there have been 141 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease, including 55 deaths (39%).

Since September 2022, at least 19 healthcare workers have been infected, of whom seven died. 

Despite the transmissions reported in the densely populated capital city of Kampala, the current probability that EU/EEA citizens living in or traveling to affected areas of Uganda will be exposed to SUDV is very low, says the ECDC.

As of November 16, 2022, all travelers leaving or arriving at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda must complete a health declaration form.

A similar process remains in place at five U.S. airports.

Furthermore, the unavailability of SUDV vaccines is an additional challenge to controlling this outbreak.

Other outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Ebola.

Nov 26, 2022 • 10:07 am CST
U.S. CDC

The Victoria Department of Health recently reported the fifth measles patient related to overseas travelers since January 2022.

The three new cases confirmed on November 17, 2022, were within one family. Two of the cases were infectious during a return flight from Singapore to Melbourne, Australia.

There are two public exposure sites in Victoria linked to these measles cases.

The government urges those who attended these sites to seek medical care if they develop symptoms, to wear a mask, and to call ahead to ensure they can be isolated from others.

"Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that spreads quickly with close contact, especially in those who are not fully vaccinated. Young children and adults with weakened immune systems are the most at risk of serious illness," commented Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer, Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, in a press release.

On September 13, 2022, Australia's NSW Health confirmed its first local case of measles since February 2020. This person developed symptoms after returning from Sydney.

“Our progress towards measles and rubella elimination in the Western Pacific must not be reversed,” commented Dr. Huong Tran, Director of Programmes for Disease Control in the WHO Western Pacific Region, in September 2022.

Measles is a highly contagious disease, spread by the droplets from when an infected person coughs and sneezes. Symptoms include a red rash and fever. In some people, it can be severe.

Measles is prevented by vaccination, says the Australian government.

The U.S. CDC suggests confirming measles immunity for most people visiting Australia, as well as Japanese encephalitis in parts of eastern and southeastern Australia. 

Nov 26, 2022 • 5:58 am CST
U.S. State Dept.

The AP reported that Honduras's first women President, Xiomara Castro, declared a state of emergency related to civil unrest on November 24, 2022. This action occurred days after bus and taxi drivers protested in the capital Tegucigalpa.

And in neighboring El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele's emergency decree has been renewed every month since early 2022.

Recent events have resulted in the closure of the El Salvador and Guatemala Hachadura border crossing in the Ahuachapán Department and the San Cristóbal crossing in the Santa Ana Department. 

To alert American citizens, the U.S. Department of State's embassies have recently issued travel advisories for both Honduras and El Salvador.

And if you do visit these countries, the State Department recommends enrolling in the Smart Traveler program to receive Alerts and make it easier to be located.

From a health perspective, the U.S. CDC has updated its travel vaccination suggestions for both countries, such as for dengue and yellow fever.

Nov 25, 2022 • 6:20 am CST
WHO

The Ministry of Health for the Republic of Uganda and WHO published an updated Situation Report that indicates the Sudan Ebolavirus (SUDV) outbreak has been reduced.

As of November 24, 2022, the weekly number of confirmed SUDV cases reported has decreased for the third consecutive week after peaking in late October 2022.

Recently, one newly affected district has been reported (Jinja), leading to a total of nine districts in Uganda that have reported confirmed SVD cases.

In addition to the six surrounding countries assessed to be at-risk, five additional countries are now included: the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Djibouti.

These countries have important population movements to and from Uganda. 

Since the outbreak declaration on September 20, 2022, a total of 141 confirmed cases and 55 confirmed deaths (39%) from Ebola disease caused by the SUDV have been reported.

Overall, 19 cases with seven deaths occurred among healthcare workers.

On November 4, 2022, the WHO revised the risk assessment for this event from high to very high at the national level and from low to high at the regional level, while the risk remained low at the global level.

As of November 25, 2022, the U.S. CDC maintains an Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions notice regarding the SUDV outbreak.

Furthermore, while three SUDV vaccine candidates are scheduled to conduct human clinical trials in 2022, the U.S. FDA has not approved any SUDV vaccine or therapeutic.

Additional SUDV outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Ebola.

Nov 24, 2022 • 6:29 am CST
by Siggy Nowak

Reuters reported Shanghai's entry requirements had been reinstituted beginning today due to recent activity.

This announcement on November 22, 2022, means visitors who have stayed in the city for less than five days cannot enter public places such as bars, restaurants, shopping malls, supermarkets, and indoor gyms.

And new arrivals must undergo an additional nucleic acid test on their fifth day in Shanghai after three previous tests on the first three days post-arrival.

Other COVID-19 measures are in effect across the municipality through at least November 30, 2022.

In 2020, around 236 million tourists visited Shanghai.

Shanghai is a direct-administered municipality located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River. About 39 million people live in the Shanghai metropolitan area.

The local U.S. Embassy confirmed on November 22, 2022, the U.S. CDC's Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizens and nonimmigrants to travel to the U.S. is still in effect.

The CDC has no active travel advisories but suggests various travel vaccinations before visiting Shanghai.

Nov 23, 2022 • 11:33 am CST
by Alvin Aden Ardenrich Pan

The U.S. Department of State reissued after a periodic review of the Travel Advisory for the Kingdom of Thailand. The Level 1 Exercise Normal Precautions notice says visitors should exercise normal precautions in Thailand as some areas have an increased risk of civil unrest.

On November 23, 2022, the State Department stated visitors should reconsider traveling to the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla.

These areas have reported periodic violence directed mostly at Thai government interests.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these provinces as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these provinces.

If you travel to Thailand, the State Department suggests enrolling in the Smart Traveler Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate in case of an emergency.   

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is located at 120/22 Wireless Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10330, +66-2-205-4000, remains one of the world's largest and comprises several dozen sections and agencies. The mission of the U.S. Embassy is to serve and protect U.S. citizens while in Thailand.

 In 2021, the number of tourist arrivals in Thailand amounted to only around 427,000, drastically decreasing from the previous years when about 39 million people visited.

The Kingdom is located in Southeast Asia, at the center of the Indochinese Peninsula.

From a health perspective, the U.S. CDC suggests several travel vaccinations, such as yellow fever, polio, and measles, before visiting Thailand.

Nov 23, 2022 • 10:44 am CST
by Oberholster Venita

The World Health Organization (WHO) reaffirmed that the very contagious measles virus is an imminent threat worldwide. The good news is measles is a vaccine-preventable disease.

However, measles vaccination coverage has steadily declined since the pandemic's beginning in 2020.

In 2021, a record high of nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose: 25 million children missed their first dose, and an additional 14.7 million children missed their second dose.

In 2021, there were an estimated 9 million cases and 128 000 deaths from measles worldwide.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated in a press release on November 23, 2022, "Getting immunization programs back on track is absolutely critical. Behind every statistic in this report is a child at risk of a preventable disease."

In the U.S., a total of 51 measles cases were reported by five jurisdictions as of November 17, 2022.

The U.S. CDC suggests speaking with a travel vaccination expert regarding the need for a measles booster before international travel.

This CDC web tool help travelers determine whether or not they need MMR vaccination before departure.

Measles vaccines are commonly available at most clinics and pharmacies in the U.S.

Other measles vaccination information is posted at PrecisionVaccinations.com/Measles.

Nov 22, 2022 • 11:59 am CST
UKHSA

The World Health Organization (WHO) has formally confirmed that the U.K. has a ‘circulating’ vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) based on detecting the same isolate for more than 60 days.

And evidence that the virus detected in London is genetically linked to the poliovirus detected in Israel and the U.S.

An average of 1 to 3 poliovirus isolates per year have been detected from U.K. sewage samples in recent years.

However, these have all been single detections that are unrelated to each other.

In this instance, the isolates identified are genetically related, which has prompted the need to investigate the extent of transmission of this virus in Northeast London.

The most likely scenario is that a recently vaccinated individual entered the U.K. before February 2022 from a country where the oral polio vaccine (OPV) has been used for supplementary immunization campaigns.

The UKHSA confirmed on November 14, 2022, the environmental surveillance had been expanded to assess the extent of VDPV2 transmission in and outside of London.

The U.K. stated it is committed to global polio eradication, and achieving this is maintaining high vaccine coverage (95%) in the routine childhood immunization program.

Primary care colleagues and school-aged immunization providers should opportunistically check that patients are up to date with their polio-containing vaccines and provide catch-up vaccination to anyone who is un/under-vaccinated.

While the U.K. stopped using OPV in 2004, several countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria have continued to use OPV-containing type 2 virus for outbreak control.

Since 2000, the U.S. has offered the IPV vaccine.

To alert international travelers to this new polio risk, the U.S. CDC included the U.K. in the updated Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions notice on November 18, 2022.

Other polio outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Polio.

Nov 21, 2022 • 3:34 pm CST
U.S. CDC

Indonesia's health ministry reported one case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDP2) in Pidie regency in Aceh province.

As a result, the government said it would immediately launch a vaccination program for children up to age 13 years in all areas of Aceh.

Aceh is a Special Region in Indonesia located in the north of the island of Sumatra, in Western Indonesia.

Acting Chairperson of the Empowerment and Family Welfare Team for Aceh Province, Ayu Candra Febiola Nazuar, admitted on November 20, 2022, that she was very sad that Pidie had experienced an Extraordinary Event status of the discovery of polio.

Indonesia, along with ten other South-East Asia countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste) were certified as polio-free by the WHO in 2014.

On November 1, 2022, the WHO reconfirmed that polio remained a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

As of November 21, 2022, the U.S. CDC had not issued a travel advisory regarding this polio case disclosure. The CDC says polio is a vaccine-preventable disease.

Additional polio outbreak news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Polio.