Current Outbreaks/Pandemics

The History of Pandemics by Death Toll

Yellow Fever – April 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise in April 2020 that there is an outbreak of yellow fever in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. The Ethiopia Public Health Institute has reported an outbreak of yellow fever in SNNPR beginning in March 2020. The beginning of the rainy season is expected to increase the number of mosquitos that carry the disease. Prevention; the yellow fever vaccine is the best protection against yellow fever disease. Anyone 9 months of age or older who travels to Ethiopia should get the yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before travel. link. Travellers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites while in Ethiopia.

Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice – March 2020

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that an outbreak of the viral disease COVID-19 – first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China – had reached the level of a global pandemic. Citing concerns with “the alarming levels of spread and severity,” the WHO called for governments to take urgent and aggressive action to stop the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel – March 2020

Cruise passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on several cruise ships. Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes, are at a higher risk of serious disease if infected with the novel coronavirus.

Cruise travellers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.

Meningococcal Disease in Benin – January 2020

The CDC advises an outbreak of meningococcal disease has been reported in Banikora District in northwest Benin, on the border with Burkina Faso. Meningococcal disease refers to any illness caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. These illnesses are often severe and can be deadly. They include infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream infections.The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease spread through respiratory secretions such as saliva. Prevention; Travellers to Benin aged 2 months or older should be vaccinated against Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, W, and Y. Vaccinations should be taken at least 10-15 days prior to travel.

Lassa Fever in Nigeria – January 2020

An outbreak has been reported of Lassa Fever. This disease is spread mainly by rats. Travellers should avid rats and ensure that accommodations or campsites are kept clean. People usually become ill with Lassa fever after accidentally eating or breathing in rat droppings or urine or by coming into contact with an infected person’s blood, tissue, or body fluids, especially when that person is seriously ill. 

Monkeypox in Nigeria – January 2020

Infected animals such as rodents and primates can spread the virus to people (or other animals) when they bite or scratch. A person can also become infected by touching infected animals or from touching products that come from infected animals, including meat. People infected with monkeypox can spread the virus to others through the air when they cough, sneeze, or talk. The body fluids and skin sores of a person infected with monkeypox are also infectious. Prevention: travellers should wash their hands regularly with soap and water and avoid contact with sick people. link