Travel Diseases 2022

Authored by
Staff
Last reviewed
November 28, 2022

Travel Diseases For 2022 

Vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, such as polio, yellow fever, Ebola, measles, and cholera, are disrupting international travel in 2022, says the U.S. CDC and World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO launched an integrated strategic plan, the Global Arbovirus Initiative, to tackle emerging and re-emerging Arthropod-Borne viruses (arboviruses) such as Dengue, Yellow fever, Chikungunya, and Zika viruses that are public health threats in tropical and sub-tropical areas where approximately 3.9 billion people live.

As of November 28, 2022, the CDC published Travel Advisories and digital maps indicating vaccine-preventable diseases in various countries. And the European CDC's recent vaccine-preventable disease update was issued in August 2022.

Travel Diseases

Chikungunya: Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes with the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Chikungunya outbreaks are mostly found in Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. As of November 2022, the U.S. FDA has not approved a chikungunya virus preventive vaccine.

Cholera: Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. Providing safe water and sanitation is critical to preventing and controlling cholera transmission and other waterborne diseases. Currently, there are three WHO pre-qualified oral cholera vaccines (OCV): Dukoral®, ShanChol™, and Euvichol®, mainly used for travelers. All three vaccines require two doses for complete protection and are not available in the U.S.

Dengue: Dengue is a viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The primary vectors that transmit the disease are Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and, to a lesser extent, Ae. albopictus. There are four DENV serotypes, and it is possible to be infected four times. There are two dengue vaccines in use worldwide as of September 2022. Dengvaxia was U.S. FDA-authorized for limited use in May 2019, and QDENGA® is now recommended in Indonesia and Europe.

Ebola: Ebola virus disease is a rare but often fatal illness in humans. Ebola virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads through human-to-human transmission, with case fatality rates varying from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. The Ervebo vaccine was approved by the U.S. FDA in December 2020. As of November 2022, there is not a Sudan ebolavirus approved by the U.S. FDA.

Hepatitis: Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The five main strains of hepatitis viruses include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E. While they all cause liver disease, the transmission, severity of illness, and prevention methods vary. Most hepatitis viruses can be prevented by vaccination. The CDC updated hepatitis vaccination schedules for children, adolescents, and adults on February 17, 2022. 

Lassa Fever: Lassa virus is an acute viral infection that originates and spreads through contact with a common African rat. Symptoms typically appear one to three weeks after exposure. While 80% are mild or even asymptomatic, in 20% of cases, the disease can progress to more serious symptoms. The Lassa virus is endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria but probably exists in other West African countries as well. As of November 2022, the U.S. FDA had not approved a Lassa fever vaccine.

Malaria: Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. The first symptoms – fever, headache, and chills – usually appear 10–15 days after the infective mosquito bite and may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria. Left untreated, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness and death within a period of 24 hours. Four African countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths worldwide. It is preventable with the Mosquirix (RTS,S/AS01) vaccine. It is available in the African countries of Malawi, Kenya, and Ghana and received WHO Pre-Qualification on September 6, 2022.

Marburg: Marburg virus disease (MVD) is a severe disease in humans caused by Marburg marburgvirus and has the potential to cause epidemics with significant case fatality rates. Two large outbreaks that occurred simultaneously in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany and in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1967 led to the initial recognition of the disease. The outbreak was associated with laboratory work using African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda. All recent MVD outbreaks have originated in Africa.

Measles: Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. Usually, symptoms begin 7-14 days after contact with the virus. Measles can have very serious complications and even cause death. Even though safe vaccines are available, measles is a risk to international travelers when visiting countries such as India.

Monkeypox: Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. There are no approved vaccines to protect against the monkeypox virus; however, there are authorized vaccines that are being offered.

Polio: Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by types of poliovirus. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by contaminated water or food and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck, and pain in the limbs. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5–10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized. There is no cure for poliovirus, but it can be prevented with polio vaccines. Israel, the U.K., and the state of New York recently discovered poliovirus in wastewater. 

Rabies: Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that is found in more than 150 countries and territories. Rabies is present on all continents, except Antarctica, with over 95% of human deaths occurring in the Asia and African regions. It is spread to people and animals through bites or scratches, usually via saliva. Dogs are responsible for up to 99% of rabies transmission to humans. 

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: Tick-borne encephalitis virus is a member of the family Flaviviridae. Approximately 10,000–12,000 clinical cases of tick-borne encephalitis are reported each year, but this figure is believed to be significantly lower than the actual total number of clinical cases. Most infections with the virus result from infected ticks, which often remain firmly attached to the skin for days. People can prevent this virus by protecting themselves by wearing appropriate clothing while being out in areas of risk.  Vaccines are also available. There are currently 4 vaccines that are available.

Typhoid: Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. It is usually spread through contaminated food or water. Once Salmonella Typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. Symptoms include prolonged high fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhea. Two vaccines have been used for many years to prevent typhoid. However, a new typhoid conjugate vaccine with longer-lasting immunity was prequalified by WHO in December 2017.

Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is a potentially serious infectious disease mainly affecting the lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is the vaccine for tuberculosis. 

West Nile Virus: About 20% of people infected with West Nile virus develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with febrile illness due to the West Nile virus recover completely, but some infections lead to fatalities. There is one vaccine candidate conducting an early-stage study in the USA. The U.S. FDA has not authorized a West Nile virus preventive vaccine.

Yellow Fever: Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The "yellow" in the name refers to jaundice that affects some patients. Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms, and approximately half of those die within 7 to 10 days. Yellow fever vaccines (FY-Vax and Stamaril) are available worldwide.

Travel Vaccine Appointments For 2022

Request a pre-departure travel vaccination advisory appointment with a healthcare professional at this weblink.

Note: Precision Vaccinations publish additional disease-related vaccine information. This information is fact-checked and reviewed by healthcare providers.