Travel Vaccine Breaking News

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

Feb 8, 2023 • 9:26 am CST
WHO meningitis cases by health district, Zinder region, Niger, 2023.

The World Health Organization (WHO) today announced 18 meningitis-related fatalities (3.2% of cases) had been reported in the Zinder Region, southeast of Niger, over the past three months.

The vast majority of cases are due to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C (NmC).

The WHO confirmed on February 8, 2023, a reactive vaccination campaign with the trivalent ACW meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine has been implemented.

Niger has been affected by several meningitis epidemics resulting in 1,369 deaths (6.6% of cases) since 2015.

Niger is located mainly in the African meningitis belt, with seasonal outbreaks recurring yearly.

However, the ongoing outbreak shows an increased number of cases and an increased growth rate compared to the previous seasons.

Furthermore, the Zinder region shares a border with Jigawa State in Nigeria, where an NmC outbreak is also ongoing.

The WHO assesses the risk posed by the current meningitis outbreak in Niger as high at the national level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level.

And the WHO does not recommend any restriction on travel and trade to Niger based on the current event.

Separately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for travelers two months old or older visiting areas of Niger that are part of the meningitis belt during the dry season.

While the CDC has not issued a Travel Alert for Niger's latest meningitis outbreak, it previously issued notices for polio and measles outbreaks.

These travel vaccines are available at select clinics and pharmacies in the U.S.

Feb 7, 2023 • 6:28 pm CST
UK Foreign travel advice Turkey Feb. 2023

The UK Foreign Travel Advice confirmed today the Republic of Türkiye had announced a national emergency in the ten provinces affected by earthquakes and announced that only vehicles which carry aid teams and materials would be allowed to enter cities deemed to be inside the area of the disaster.

A 7.8 earthquake hit Gaziantep and neighboring provinces in the southeast of Turkey on February 6, 2023.

On the same day, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the neighboring province of Kahramanmaras.

The provinces affected by the earthquake include Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Kilis, Şanlıurfa, Adıyaman, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adana.

If you are in Turkey or planning to travel there, you should follow the information and advice from local authorities/your tour operator, wrote the UK on February 7, 2023.

Feb 7, 2023 • 2:43 pm CST
U.S. Dept of State Turkiye Map 2023

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Turkiye announced a large 7.8 earthquake that occurred on February 6, 2023, in the southeast region, near Gaziantep, affecting several provinces and the broader Central Mediterranean region.

Large aftershocks continue and are likely through the coming days.

U.S. Citizens should avoid traveling to areas affected by the earthquake, and if already there, we advise not to enter damaged buildings until Turkish authorities deem them safe.

The U.S. government is deferring all non-essential travel to U.S. Consulate Adana’s district – Adana, Adiyaman, Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malayta, Mardin, Mersin, Mus, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Siirt, Tunceli, and Van.

Please note that there are reports of extensive damage to infrastructure including roads in these provinces.

U.S. Citizens in Türkiye in need of immediate, emergency assistance should call Turkish authorities using the phone number 112.

All other inquiries regarding U.S. citizens impacted by the earthquake should be directed to U.S. Embassy in Ankara at [email protected].

Note: This is a developing tragedy, with news updates are required.

Feb 6, 2023 • 12:17 pm CST
by Joshua Woroniecki

The state of Florida's Week#4 Arbovirus Surveillance report disclosed no new locally-acquired dengue cases had been confirmed in 2023.

However, there were 68 cases of locally acquired dengue last year.

And Florida confirmed on January 28, 2023, international travelers continue returning to Florida infected with dengue.

So far, in 2023, 14 travel-associated dengue fever cases have been reported.

Last year, 871 travel-associated dengue cases were reported in Florida.

Since most of these dengue cases have been found in south Florida, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory during the summer of 2022.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says dengue is a vaccine-preventable disease. However, dengue vaccination in the U.S. with Dengvaxia requires pre-administration testing and counseling.

Feb 5, 2023 • 4:01 pm CST
Columbus Dept Health Feb. 4, 2023

The Columbus City Health Department tweeted today that the current measles outbreak in central Ohio reached 42 days or two incubation periods since the last rash onset in a confirmed case.

This milestone fits the U.S. CDC's definition of the end of an outbreak; however, 'we still have test results pending for suspected cases.'

Measles outbreaks are declared when the number of cases reported in an area is higher than the expected number of cases.

Around 90% of people who are not protected will become infected following exposure to the measles virus. 

As of February 3, 2023, the City of Columbus, Ohio, reported 85 measles cases since the initial cases were reportedpotentially connectedthese most unvaccinated children had been hospitalized.

Throughout the U.S., the CDC has reported two measles cases in 2 jurisdictions in 2023.

One of these new measles cases was reported in Kentucky, with a potential connection to the Ohio outbreak.

In response, the Jefferson County Public Schools, located near Lousiville, Kentucky, began conducting measles vaccination clinics at schools for about 10,000 under-vaccinated students.

The CDC reported on January 13, 2023, nationally, the 2-dose MMR coverage was 93.5% during the 2020–2021 school year.

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

Feb 5, 2023 • 12:46 pm CST
U.S. CDC Bangladesh 2023

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, has marked 32 districts at risk of the Nipah virus infection and has identified ten cases in 2023.

According to local media on February 4, 2023, the Dhaka North City Corporation's hospital in Mohakhali has also been instructed to prepare 20 beds for treating Nipah virus patients.

"This is because anywhere a Nipah virus patient is also likely to have bats and palm sap. Therefore, all parts of the country are vulnerable to the Nipah virus, but the districts where it has been detected are advised to take extra precautions."

The World Health Organization says Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic illness transmitted from animals, through contaminated food, or from person to person.

As of February 5, 2023, the U.S. FDA has not approved a Nipah virus preventive vaccine candidate.

However, The Lancet published results from a vaccine candidate study in December 2022 that concluded the VSV-NiVG vaccine offers broad protection against NiV disease. 

The U.S. CDC does suggest various vaccinations, including for dengue, before visiting Bangladesh in 2023.

Feb 5, 2023 • 12:10 pm CST
by Brigitte Werner

The Canadian government recently confirmed visitors to Buenos Aires, Argentina, should exercise high caution due to civil unrest. 

As of January 31, 2023, Canada stated when in the Buenos Aires tourist areas of La Boca, Congreso, Florida Street, the Retiro bus station area, and San Telmo, be aware of your surroundings.

And in La Boca, always remain on Caminito Street, as thefts often occur on neighboring streets, and avoid the area after dark.

Furthermore, since 2019, several incidents of tourists have been followed from Buenos Aires' Ministro Pistarini International Airport to their hotels and robbed. In some cases, the criminals responded violently when the victims resisted.

If you are the victim of a crime, call the local police at 911, as the U.S. Embassy cannot take custody of U.S. citizens or intervene in Argentine legal procedures. All U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the Government of Argentina.

The Embassy suggests enrolling in the STEP program to receive important information about safety conditions, helping you make informed travel plans.

The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires is located at Av. Colombia 4300 (C1425GMN). Telephone: (54-11) 5777-4533. 

From a health perspective, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are no travel health notices in effect for Argentina as of February 5, 2023.

However, the CDC suggests various travel vaccinations, including yellow fever.

Yellow fever vaccination with either Stamaril or YF-Vax is recommended for travelers ≥9 months of age going to Corrientes and Misiones Provinces. And is not recommended for travelers going to Formosa Province and designated areas of Chaco, Jujuy, and Salta Provinces.

And the U.K.'s travel advisory for Argentina includes notices regarding dengue and Zika virus transmission.

Feb 5, 2023 • 11:33 am CST
by Brigitte Werner

Public Health recently announced it was extending negative COVID-19 test requirements for arriving air travelers from the Peoples' Republic of China. 

Initially announced in early January 2023, this extension is scheduled to be a requirement until April 5, 2023.

This extension applies to travel to Canada through connecting flights from other countries, for example, if your flight itinerary starts in China and includes a connecting flight from Germany to Canada.

And those transiting through Canada with onward travel to another country.

If Canada isn't your final destination, also check the travel and testing requirements for your final destination.

However, this doesn't apply to travelers transiting through China, Hong Kong, or Macao, who are there for 24 hours or less.

For example, if your flight itinerary starts in Australia and includes a connecting flight in China before continuing to Canada, and if you are in China for 24 hours or less before the connecting flight to Canada is initially scheduled to depart.

And travelers must keep the proof of their test result until leaving the airport in Canada.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, with similar requirements, on January 5, 2023.

Feb 1, 2023 • 1:59 pm CST
WHO Marburg cases 2023

A Cincinnati-based biopharmaceutical company developing transformational vaccines today announced the development of vaccine candidates targeting Mpox and Marburg virus disease (“MVD”).

No vaccines or antiviral treatments are currently approved for MVD, which was first recognized in 1967.

As of 2023, Angola, DR Congo, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Serbia, South Africa, and Uganda have confirmed MVD cases.

Both candidate vaccines will utilize Blue Water Vaccines (BWV) Inc. norovirus shell and protrusion virus-like particle platform, which allows for the presentation of multiple antigens on the surface of either the S or P particle of a norovirus backbone.

In addition to monkeypox vaccine development, AbVacc will utilize its extensive expertise in MVD to develop a novel vaccine targeting the Marburg virus using BWV’s VLP platform.

“As various epidemics continue to emerge around the world, there has never been a better time to invest in the creation of preventative vaccines,” said Joseph Hernandez, Chairman and CEO of BWV, in a press release on February 1, 2023.

MVD is caused by either the Marburg or Ravn viruses, both from the same family as Ebola viruses and can cause outbreaks with high transmission and fatality rates.

According to the World Health Organization (“WHO”), Marburg spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected individuals or contaminated surfaces.

Case fatality ratios of MVD can reach up to 88%, indicating a severe unmet need for preventative and therapeutic options, says the WHO.

Marburg vaccine candidates at listed on this webpage.  

Jan 31, 2023 • 4:01 pm CST
WHO Nipah Virus Outbreaks 2023

Bangladesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque recently confirmed to local media eight people were infected with the Nipah virus in 2023. Of them, five people died.

".... drinking raw date juice, contaminated by bats carrying Nipah virus. And some Nipah virus-infected people can transmit the disease.

The minister said people should avoid eating fruits that are half eaten by birds and urged people not to drink raw date juice.

In 2022, Bangladesh reported three Nipah virus cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic illness transmitted to people from animals and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person-to-person.

In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses.

During the first recognized outbreak in Malaysia and Singapore in 1999, most human infections resulted from direct contact with sick pigs or their contaminated tissues.

This outbreak resulted in nearly 300 human cases and more than 100 related fatalities.

In subsequent outbreaks in Bangladesh and India, consuming fruits or fruit products (such as raw date palm juice) contaminated with urine or saliva from infected fruit bats was the most likely source of infection.

As of January 31, 2023, no Nipah virus vaccines are available, says the U.S. CDC.

The CDC does recommend several vaccinations, such as dengue, before visiting Bangladesh in 2023.

Jan 31, 2023 • 9:05 am CST
Mercy Ships’ Newest Hospital Ship 2023

The newest ship in the Mercy Ships fleet will soon lower her gangway in Dakar, Senegal, and welcome patients on board to receive life-changing surgery.

In 2023, Mercy Ships will serve patients in two countries – Senegal and The Gambia – from one port, with six operating rooms and 199 beds.

Since the new ship's construction was completed in mid-2021, she's been preparing to serve her first patients.

The Global Mercy hospital will bring new technology and larger spaces to the field service.

The new hospital has several advantages.

Many off-ship facilities, like the dockside medical tents, have been moved on board. This saves weeks of setup and tear-down, allowing more time for surgeries.

Built-in cameras will allow trainees to watch surgeries remotely, exponentially expanding training opportunities.

Jan 30, 2023 • 12:45 pm CST
U.S. CDC Disease Outbreaks Nigeria 2023

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recently reported its ongoing diphtheria outbreak had recorded 38 deaths in the country.

On January 20, 2023, NCDC confirmed it has responded to diphtheria cases in Lagos and Kano States and is monitoring the situation in Osun and Yobe States.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect an individual's nose, throat, and sometimes, skin. It spreads quickly between people through:

  • Direct contact with infected people,
  • Droplets from coughing or sneezing,
  • Contact with contaminated clothing and objects.

Over the past five decades, diphtheria has reduced dramatically worldwide.

And since diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, the NCDC childhood immunization schedule recommends three doses of pentavalent vaccine (diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine) are recommended for children early in life.

Furthermore, the NCDC announced on January 23, 2023, all healthcare workers with a high level of exposure to diphtheria should be vaccinated.

The U.S. CDC stated in December 2022 to ensure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before visiting Nigeria, including for Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis.

Additionally, the CDC has issued Travel Advisories regarding Nigeria's Mpox, yellow fever, polio, and measles outbreaks.

Vaccines available at travel clinics and pharmacies in the U.S. prevent these diseases.

Jan 30, 2023 • 8:58 am CST
PAHO Jan. 30, 2023 Costa Rica Dengue Cases

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently confirmed the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary source of dengue transmission in Limón, Costa Rica, including the coastlines along the Caribbean Sea.

As of January 30, 2023, the PAHO's data dashboard indicates 18 dengue cases have been confirmed this year, with about 7,400 in 2022.

Geographically, this dengue outbreak has impacted Talamanca and Guacimo areas.

In the Region of the Americas, 46 countries and territories reported dengue cases in 2022.

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level-1 Travel Advisory in 2022 does not identify Costa Rica as a dengue risk, it says this mosquito-spreading disease is an ongoing risk in many parts of Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

However, the UK's National Travel Health Network and Centre website confirm dengue fever risks will continue in Costa Rica this year. And the number of reported cases of dengue is increasing.

The worst affected areas are Limon and Puntarenas.

If you're in Costa Rica, you should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, says the UK.

Furthermore, dengue is a vaccine-preventable disease, with two authorized vaccines available in certain countries in 2023. 

Local media (Costa Rica Star) recently reported Sanofi Pasteur's Dengvaxia® vaccine is sold in pharmacies in Costa Rica for approximately $130. Three doses are required to fully protect people against the serotypes found in the country in 2023.

Jan 29, 2023 • 12:32 pm CST
PAHO Jan. 25, 2023 Chikungunya trend report

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) updated its Arboviral Situation Summary stated is very important for the Southern Hemisphere to be prepared to intensify prevention and control actions in the face of any increase in Chikungunysa virus (CHIKV) cases in 2023.

On January 25, 2023, the PAHO highlighted the Republic of Paraguay's increase in CHIKV cases in late 2022.

After a normal start, the number of CHIKV cases reported weekly in the last three weeks averaged 750 cases. This data compares with 576 in 2021.

Throughout 2022, Paraguay's neighbor Brazil led all Southern Hemisphere countries with 265,265 suspected chikungunya cases.

Since 2004, outbreaks of CHIKV have become more frequent and have been identified in over 110 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. 

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans through the bites of mosquitoes infected with the CHKV, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Severe symptoms and deaths from chikungunya infections are rare and usually related to other coexisting health problems.

Mosquitoes transmit the Chikungunya virus.

Most patients recover fully from the infection; however, people at extremes of the age spectrum are at higher risk for severe disease.

Newborns infected during delivery and older people with underlying medical conditions may become severely ill, and CHIKV infection can increase the risk of death.

Once an individual is recovered, available evidence suggests they will likely be immune from future infections.

As of January 29, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any chikungunya vaccine candidates currently conducting late-stage clinical trials.

However, Valneva SE completed the rolling submission of the Biologics License Application to the U.S. FDA on December 23, 2022, for VLA1553, a monovalent, single-dose, live-attenuated chikungunya vaccine.

From a traveling perspective, the United Kingdom stated in December 2022, before traveling, check the 'Entry requirements' section for Paraguay's current entry restrictions and requirements.

And all travelers to and from Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela are obliged to present an International Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to authorize their entry and exit of the country.

There are two yellow fever vaccines available worldwide.

Jan 28, 2023 • 10:42 am CST
UK Travel Health Barbados 2023

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) updated its Arboviral situation summary today with data indicating that a coral island in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies was confronted with an extensive Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak last year.

Zika transmission can occur in most areas where the mosquito Aedes aegypti is found. This means there is the potential for transmission throughout much of the Caribbean Islands, says the PAHO.

In 2022, the PAHO reported a total of 37,869 ZIKV cases in the Region of the Americas in 15 out of 52 countries and territories. 

The most significant number of Zika cases in the Region was reported by Brazil, with 34,176.

But on a cumulative incidence per 100,000 population basis. Barbados, with about 280,000 residents, led the Region at 48.

Brazil's rate was just 16, based on a population of 214 million.

To alert international visitors of their potential ZIKV health risk when visiting Barbados, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions. However, the CDC withdrew this Alert on June 30, 2021.

The CDC currently says, 'We do not have accurate information on the current level of risk.'

However, both Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) had enough information to publish ZIKV advice for people visiting Barbados last year.

The UK represented about 50% of all international visitors in 2022.

Because Zika is a cause of severe congenital disabilities, such as microcephaly, the CDC, Canada, and the UK recommend pregnant women and couples trying to become pregnant within the next few months speak with their healthcare providers to carefully consider the risks and possible consequences of travel to areas with risk of Zika.

Furthermore, if a woman is pregnant, she should not visit areas with ZIKV outbreaks, says the CDC.

Furthermore, these countries have not approved a Zika-prevention vaccine as of January 28, 2023.