Travel Diseases March 2023

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Last reviewed
March 24, 2023
Content Overview
Vaccination prevents yellow fever, polio, measles, and dengue diseases in March 2023. Travel vaccine information is fact-checked by doctors and pharmacists.

Travel Diseases For March 2023

Vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, such as polio, yellow fever, Ebola, measles, and cholera, are disrupting international travel in 2023, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Neglected tropical diseases (NTD) are mainly prevalent in tropical areas. As of 2022, 47 countries had eliminated at least one NTD. The WHO estimates that more than 1.7 billion people annually require treatment for at least one NTD. On January 29, 2023, the WHO published the Global Report on neglected tropical diseases 2023.

The WHO recently 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 areas where approximately 3.9 billion people live. The WHO and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) publish a weekly Epidemiological Update for Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika. And

As of March 24, 2023, the U.S. CDC published Travel Advisories and digital maps indicating vaccine-preventable diseases in various countries. And the WHO's recent vaccine-preventable disease update was issued in 2022.

Travel Diseases

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved vaccines targeting travel-related diseases:

Chikungunya: Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes with the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Chikungunya outbreaks are primarily found in Africa, Asia, Brazil, and the Indian subcontinent. As of March 2023, the U.S. FDA has not approved a CHIKV preventive vaccine.

Cholera: Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. Currently, there are three WHO-prequalified oral cholera vaccines (OCV). VaxChora may become available in the U.S. in 2023.

Dengue: Dengue is a viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. There are four Dengue serotypes, and it is possible to be infected four times. There are two dengue vaccines in use worldwide; Dengvaxia and QDENGA®.

Ebola: Ebola virus disease is a rare but often fatal illness in humans. The Ervebo vaccine was approved by the U.S. FDA in 2020. As of January 2023, no Sudan ebolavirus vaccine has been approved by the 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. The CDC updated hepatitis vaccination schedules on February 17, 2022, for children, adolescents, and adults. 

Influenza: Various influenza viruses continually spread worldwide. There are several FDA-approved flu shots for 2023.

Japanese Encephalitis: JE is a serious virus that spreads to people through the bites of infected mosquitos. There are FDA-approved JE vaccines available in the U.S.

Lassa Fever: Lassa virus is an acute viral infection that originates and spreads through contact with a typical African rat. As of March 2023, 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. Malaria 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.

Marburg: Marburg virus disease (MVD) is a severe disease in humans caused by the marburgvirus. Recent MVD outbreaks in Africa. As of March 24, 2023, the FDA has not approved a vaccine targeting MVD.

Measles: Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. Safe vaccines (MMR-II and Priorix) are available throughout the U.S. Measles is a risk to international travelers visiting countries such as India.

Mpox: Mpox disease is caused by the mpox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. Authorized vaccines such as JYNNEOS are offered in various countries.

Polio: Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by types of poliovirus. There is no cure for polio, but vaccines can prevent it. Israel, the U.K., and the state of New York recently discovered poliovirus in wastewater and increased polio vaccination offerings.

Rabies: Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease 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. FDA-approved vaccines are also available. There are currently four available vaccines.

Typhoid: Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. It is usually spread through contaminated food or water. One FDA-approved vaccine has been used for many years to prevent typhoid.

Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is a potentially severe 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) vaccine helps prevents 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 from the West Nile virus recover completely, but some infections lead to fatalities. 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. A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms, and approximately half die within 7 to 10 days. Yellow fever vaccines (FY-Vax and Stamaril) are available worldwide.

Travel Vaccine Appointments 2023

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