Travel Vaccine Breaking News

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

May 31, 2023 • 12:13 pm CDT
U.S. CDC May 2023

Southern Africa is again weathering a season of cholera, with six countries in the region recording outbreaks in 2023, reported Derick Matsengarwodzi with GAVI.

As of May 25, 2023, Malawi is the worst affected, recording 36,943 cases and 1,210 associated deaths between March 2022 and February 2023, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

So far this year, Malawi has received three shipments of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) in response to applications to the Gavi-supported stockpile established in 2013.

The latest 1.4 million OCV dose shipment arrived in Lilongwe in April 2023.

On May 22, 2023, Gavi published a roadmap outlining critical actions needed to ensure the supply of OCV can meet growing demand from countries.

The roadmap describes how these organizations, manufacturers, and countries can work together towards ensuring global OCV supply can support large-scale preventive vaccination by 2026.

"Cholera vaccines have steadily become more available over the past decade, meeting rising country demand," said Dr. Derrick Sim, Managing Director for Vaccine Markets and Health Security at Gavi, in a media release.

"As a result, the good news is we have doses to meet all emergency demand despite the rise in outbreaks, which is expected to continue. But this trend underscores the increasing importance of preventing outbreaks before they occur."

"The ultimate solution to both sustainable OCV supply and cholera control lies in our collective ability to  step up our efforts on prevention programs."

As of May 31, 2023, various cholera vaccines have been approved but remain in limited supply.

Note: The U.S. CDC recently issued an Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, regarding polio outbreaks, which includes Malawi.

May 30, 2023 • 5:07 pm CDT
WHo Ethiopia Dengue Outbreak May 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Region recently reported two districts (Logia and Mille) of the Afar region in north-eastern Ethiopia are experiencing a Dengue fever outbreak.

The Mille district has reported the most dengue cases (96%).

As of May 10, 2023, a total of 1 638 suspected and confirmed dengue cases and nine associated deaths (CFR 0.5%) have been reported. 

Of the nine suspected deaths reported, four occurred at the health facility and five at the community level.

Ethiopia has had nearly annual outbreaks since 2013, devastating an already fragmented health system, says the WHO. Furthermore, dengue is a vaccine-preventable disease, with two vaccines available in 2023.

Other dengue outbreaks in 2023 are posted at Vax-Before-Travel.

May 30, 2023 • 11:07 am CDT
by J. Schweikart

EL PAIS recently reported two patients were diagnosed for the second time with mpox in Spain.

On May 26, 2023, the Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona) and Ramón y Cajal (Madrid) hospitals confirmed two patients had been reinfected with mpox.

EL PAIS reported these are the first mpox reinfection cases in Spain.

According to the Carlos III Health Institute, there have been 56 mpox cases in Spain since the beginning of 2023.

Previous reports in 2023 confirmed secondary mpox cases in Chicago, Il, Paris, France, and Seoul, South Korea.

May 29, 2023 • 8:00 am CDT
Florida Dept of Health RSV case map May 20, 2023

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently reported Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases in Latin America and the Caribbean for Epidemiological Week #18 of 2023.

As of May 24, 2023, the PAHO confirmed RSV activity has remained low throughout most of the Americas.

However, in Brazil and Southern Cone, RSV activity, after showing an increase in recent weeks, a decreasing trend has been observed. 

In the U.S., Florida’s RSV season is longer than the rest of the nation and has distinct regional patterns. However, as of late May 2023, Florida has not reported an RSV outbreak.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms.

However, according to the Florida Department of Health, young children and older adults, especially those with certain underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for severe illness from RSV.

RSV is a vaccine-preventable disease in older adults, and RSV monoclonal antibody therapies were approved for infants in 2023.

May 29, 2023 • 6:45 am CDT

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released preliminary Tuberculosis (TB) cases data that the U.S. is also experiencing a disease resurgence.

The CDC reported that TB disease cases increased by 5% in 2022 to 8,300 cases.

TB cases have recently increased in California, New York, and Texas.

Healthcare providers and communities disproportionately affected by TB are recommended to.... Think. Test. Treat TB.

According to the WHO 2022 Global TB Report, an estimated 1.6 million people died from TB, an increase of 4.5% in one year. 

As of May 29, 2023, the 100-year-old Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is not widely used in the U.S. However, it is often given to infants and small children in other countries where TB is common.

There are over ten versions of the BCG vaccine used globally.

May 28, 2023 • 9:32 am CDT
US CDC May 26, 2023

The U.S. CDC reissued it's Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions travel advisory regarding U.S. residents returning from Matamoros, Mexico, who were diagnosed with suspected fungal meningitis infections that have led to severe illness and death.

As of May 26, 2023, the CDC stated people should cancel any elective procedure that involves an epidural injection of an anesthetic in Matamoros, Mexico until there is evidence that there is no longer a risk for infection at these clinics.

Furthermore, all medical and surgical procedures carry some risk, and complications can occur regardless of where treatment is received.

The risk of complications depends on the destination, the facility where the procedure is being performed, and whether you are in good physical and psychological condition for the procedure(s). 

And learn how to minimize risks if you are considering traveling to another country for medical care, says the CDC.

May 26, 2023 • 2:29 pm CDT
by Simon

The Chilean Ministry of Health recently issued a health alert in Arica, Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaíso, and the Metropolitan Region, for the risk of Aedes aegypti mosquitos transmitting viruses such as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, zika, and malaria.

The health alert empowers the strengthening of the surveillance system and the adoption of opportune measures for the control of mosquitoes and viruses.

“The Ministry of Health is taking the necessary measures,” Fernando Leanes, representative of the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization in Chile, told CNN Chile on May 4, 2023.

In South America, the Stamaril® yellow fever vaccine is generally available.

Other travel vaccines are listed by Vax-Before-Travel.

May 26, 2023 • 8:52 am CDT
by Peter Mellow

Are you an international traveler looking for an undiscovered, safe destination to visit? According to the U.S. Department of State, the Republic of the Marshall Islands could be an option.

With about six thousand annual visitors in 2019, these Pacific Islands are undiscovered.

This U.S. Territory includes 29 atolls and over 1,200 islands, famous for its numerous shipwrecks.

On May 23, 2023, the State Department's Level 1 travel advisory confirmed without COVID-19 restrictions, visitors to this Oceanic retreat should exercise standard precautions.

Should Americans need assistance, the U.S. Embassy in the Marshall Islands is located at Mejen Weto, Ocean Side, Majuro, Marshall Islands.

However, non-emergency consular services were recently suspended indefinitely. For questions and inquiries, call 247- 4011 or email [email protected].

From a health perspective, there was a shortage of necessary medical supplies and medications in April 2023.

And the U.S. CDC suggests various routine vaccinations before visiting the Marshall Islands.

May 26, 2023 • 7:02 am CDT
ECDC flu data May 26, 2023

The ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe jointly reported influenza transmissions have significantly decreased.

As of May 21, 2023, the percentage of all sentinel primary care specimens from patients presenting with symptoms that tested positive for an influenza virus decreased to 2% from 4% in the previous week, which is below the epidemic threshold set at 10%.   

And 15 of 39 countries or areas reported low intensity; there were no reports of medium or higher intensity, with only 2 of 38 countries across the Region reporting widespread activity. 

Both the ECDC and WHO suggest international travelers speak with a healthcare provider about flu shot options for the forthcoming 2023-2023 influenza season.



May 26, 2023 • 6:07 am CDT
WHO COVID-19 data dashboard

The WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Update #144 provides an overview of the global, regional, and country-level COVID-19 cases and related fatalities.

As of May 25, 2023, nearly 2.3 million new cases and almost 15,000 fatalities were reported in the last 28 days, a decrease of 21% and 17%, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days.

The global situation is mixed at the regional level, with increases in reported cases seen in the WHO African and Western Pacific Regions and increases in fatalities in the African, the Americas, South-East Asia, and Western Pacific Regions. 

Disaggregated data are still accessible on the WHO COVID-19 dashboard, where the entire dataset is available for download.

May 25, 2023 • 4:08 pm CDT
by Andrew from Pixabay

Puerto Rico's Department of Health Arboviral Disease recently reported increased dengue and Zika cases.

As of May 25, 2023, the data for week #19 indicates 305 dengue and 25 Zika probable cases so far this year.

While no Zika vaccines are available, Puerto Rico is evaluating the Dengvaxia® vaccine in the greater San Juan area.

The U.S. CDC has scheduled a vaccine committee to discuss Puerto Rico's test results and review the new QDENGA® vaccine.

Qdenga has been approved for use in Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, the European Union, and the U.K. as of May 2023.

May 25, 2023 • 6:07 am CDT
U.S. Dept of State Sudan map May 25, 2023

The U.S. State Department announced on May 22, 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum has suspended its operations and issued a Level 4, Do not travel to Sudan due to extensive civil unrest.

As a result, the embassy cannot provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Sudan.

Currently, there are no U.S. consular officers in Sudan.

However, consular services are available in neighboring countries for those who depart independently.

In addition, the U.S. government is providing information for U.S. citizens in Sudan, including exit options.  

Specifically, U.S. citizens should not visit the Hotel Coral in Port Sudan or the Fenti Golf in Khartoum. The U.S. government is no longer present to assist in these locations.

We understand that border crossings into neighboring countries, such as Egypt, may be possible.

However, if you can travel to a border crossing and believe it is safe, please be aware that wait times and conditions at crossing points vary widely and could change quickly, wrote the State Department.

And enroll in the Smart Traveler Program to receive security updates.

U.S. citizens in Sudan who need assistance should contact the closest U.S. embassy or consulate.

May 24, 2023 • 3:37 pm CDT
by Joe Mustang

The U.S. CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) requires cruise ships to log and report the number of passengers and crew who say they have symptoms of gastrointestinal illness.

As of May 24, 2023, the VSP has reported 12 gastrointestinal outbreaks on cruise ships.

Data are from ship surveillance reports and CDC-led investigations.

People often associate cruise ships with acute gastrointestinal illnesses such as norovirus. However, acute gastrointestinal illness is relatively infrequent on cruise ships.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes 19 to 21 million illnesses annually in the U.S.

You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis).

This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up, says the CDC.

According to a CDC norovirus tracking network, there were 735 outbreaks reported from August through April 23.

There were 907 during the same period of the 2021-2022 norovirus season.

While vaccines against norovirus diseases are in demand, noroviruses' genetic and antigenic diversity presents challenges. As a result, as of May 2023, no norovirus vaccines are authorized.

May 24, 2023 • 12:48 pm CDT
South Africa districts May 2023

The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases recently confirmed a measles outbreak had been declared in all the provinces in South Africa except for the Eastern Cape since late 2022.

In week #18, seven new measles cases were reported from Limpopo province. 

In total, 1004 measles cases have been reported as of May 18, 2023.

The measles strain detected in Limpopo province and North West province is genotype D8, similar to the strain in Zimbabwe in the 2022 outbreak.

Globally, measles outbreaks are occurring in numerous countries.

Therefore, the U.S. CDC suggests ensuring international travelers are protected before departure.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease, with various vaccines offered in most countries.

May 24, 2023 • 5:49 am CDT
WHO influenza virus map May 12, 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) published Influenza Update N° 445 on May 15, 2023, stating influenza detections decreased further due to a decline in detections in the northern hemisphere, while some countries in the southern hemisphere reported an increase in influenza detections in recent weeks.

Most influenza activity was very low in North America, the Caribbean, and Central American countries.

In the tropical countries of South America, influenza activity decreased overall during this reporting period, although positivity increased to an extraordinary level in the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

In Europe, overall influenza detections decreased, and influenza positivity from sentinel sites dropped below the epidemic threshold of 10% at the regional level.

Despite continued testing in Central Asia, no influenza detections were reported during this period.

In Northern Africa, no influenza detections were reported.

In Western Asia, influenza activity remained low overall.

In East Asia, influenza activity decreased overall, although detections of mainly influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 continued to increase in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

A slight increase in influenza detections was reported in the Republic of Korea.

Other influenza and vaccine news for the upcoming 2023-2024 flu season is posted at Precision Vaccinations.