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Travel Medicine News

The Most Dangerous Cities in the US and the World

Posted by Stuart Rose on

Attention travelers: Check these lists before you go. Remember that it's always best to walk in groups of 2-3, or more. Safety in numbers! Quite often, holdups and muggings occur in the better parts of a city (that's where the money is.)  A hidden money belt may be advisable. Don't wear fine jewelry or carry much cash. The Most Dangerous Cities in the US Kansas City Oakland Little Rock Baltimore Rockford, Ill. Milwaukee Memphis Birmingham, Ala. Detroit St. Louis   The Most Dangerous Cities in the World Rank City Murder Rate (per 100,000) 1 Caracas, Venezuela 119.87 2 San Pedro Sula, Honduras...

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How to Prevent the Zika Virus Infection.

Posted by Stuart Rose on

The Zika virus is now a risk worldwide in warmer climates—but it can be prevented. Here's how: Bed Net If your room is not well screened and air conditioned, use a bed net when sleeping or resting. Mosquitoes can live indoors and will bite at any time, day or night. Insect Repellent Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. We recommend a minimum of 30% DEET. Always follow the directions on the bottle. Do not spray repellent under clothing. If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second. When...

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Zika Virus Update for Florida

Posted by Stuart Rose on

Guidance for Zika Cautionary Areas (Yellow Areas) (Order our Zika kit here) Travel Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County. Testing and Diagnosis Pregnant women who lived in, traveled to, or had sex without a condom with someone who lived in or traveled to Miami-Dade County after August 1, 2016, should be tested for Zika virus. Pregnant women with symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika virus. Pregnant women without symptoms who live in or frequently travel (daily, weekly) to Miami-Dade County should talk to their healthcare provider about getting tested in the first...

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Post-Travel Illness—What You Should Do.

Posted by Stuart Rose on

If you are a short-term (1-3 weeks) traveler to a tropical or semi-tropical region, you could be incubating a tropical or infectious disease that becomes symptomatic only after you return. Failure to recognize the connection of your symptoms with travel can have serious—even fatal—consequences. Undiagnosed falciparum malaria is often the cause. If you have unexplained fever, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea, chest pain and cough or weight loss, get checked ASAP. Typhoid fever is also a possibility.  Even if you do not feel sick, you should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after visiting area with Zika so that you...

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New Warnings for Men on Zika Virus

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Dengue Fever Risk Now in Florida

Posted by Stuart Rose on

A person in Florida has caught a locally transmitted case of dengue fever. The case is the first in which a person caught dengue from a mosquito bite within Miami-Dade County in 2016. This is unusual, since most cases in US travelers are acquired in the Caribbean and elsewhere overseas.   The case is also Florida's second local dengue case of 2016, according to CBS Miami. In 2015, the state reported one locally transmitted case of dengue, and in 2014 it had six known locally acquired cases of the disease, according to the Florida Department of Health.    Dengue is...

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Ticks—More to Worry About

Posted by Stuart Rose on

We all know that ticks can spread Lyme disease and travelers to Europe and Russia may be familiar with tick-borne encephalitis. Another tick-borne illness has now appeared in Spain with the report of the first case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). See NY Times September 5, 2016. What is CCHF? It is a serious viral illness normally found in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and Central Asia south of Kazakhstan. A West African strain of the fever was first isolated from ticks feeding on Spanish red deer in 2011. While the threat to travelers to Spain is low, the illness...

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Testing for dengue fever, chikungunya fever and Zika virus. What you should know.

Posted by Stuart Rose on

Three mosquito-transmitted viruses that travelers want to avoid are dengue, chikungunya and Zika (if pregnant). You may have concerns about whether your primary doctor is familiar with these diseases and what the proper testing procedures are if you have symptoms. There are no vaccines.  I have enclosed those procedures done by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. You can use their guidelines to be sure your healthcare provider is aware of the proper testing procedures. The MA State Public Health Laboratory uses a PCR test to detect the genetic material of Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses and the Zika IgM MAC-ELISA to test...

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Caution travelers: Malaria strikes Venezuela.

Posted by Stuart Rose on

This weeks's New York Times has a harrowing look at how a breakdown in the economy and public infrastructure in Venezuela has lead to a dramatic return of Malaria: "The promise of a different Venezuela — one where there is ample food and work that pays enough — led Yudani González to abandon a program to become a preschool teacher in Ciudad Bolívar, the provincial capital, where unemployment is rampant. Instead, she headed to a ramshackle jungle camp, where she cooks for miners with one hand and cares for her two young children with the other. And Reinaldo Balochi lost his job last year...

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CDC reports Zika virus spreading in the Caribbean.

Posted by Stuart Rose on

Local mosquito transmission of Zika virus infection (Zika) has been reported in the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as in Antigua and Barbuda. Local mosquito transmission means that mosquitoes in the area are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people. Because Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, CDC recommends that travelers to the Turks and Caicos Islands protect themselves from mosquito bites.    Zika Virus in Pregnancy A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. CDC recommends special precautions for the following groups: Women who are pregnant: Should not travel...

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