December 2019 Outbreak Notices

Flooding in East Africa:

  • Flash floods and landslides have killed at least 250 and affected thousands of people in East Africa in the past few weeks.

  • Countries affected are Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, CAR, DRC, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and Burundi.

  • If you touch the flood water then please wash your hands immediately.

  • As there is more low-lying water, there will be an increase of mosquitoes so employ bite prevention techniques.

  • Use good food and water precautions as water sources can be contaminated with flood water.

  • For more information, please read here.

Yellow fever in Mali:

  • There have been 3 cases of yellow fever (including 1 death) on the 3 December 2019.

  • Yellow fever is spread via daytime biting mosquitoes.

  • A yellow fever vaccine is advised for travellers going to Mali.

  • For more information, please read here.


  • There have been a number of fatal cases of rabies in Europe.

  • On 11 December 2019, the Spanish authorities have confirmed that a man contracted rabies after a bite from a cat in Morocco in August. Morocco has seen an increased rate of rabies over the past few years.

  • On the 19 November 2019, a man died in Italy following a bite from a dog in Zanzibar, Tanzania in September.

  • In December, a woman in Latvia died from rabies. She had recently travelled to Asia.

  • Rabies is spread via the saliva from an infected warm blooded animal such as dog, cat, monkey or bat through bites or scratches.

  • Travellers are advised that rabies is a very dangerous infectious disease. There is no recognised treatment once symptoms begin and, with the exception of a tiny number of cases, all those who develop symptoms of rabies will die.

  • An effective rabies vaccination is available. Please speak to a travel health professional about this.

  • For more information, please read here.

Ebola in DRC:

  • Ebola began in DRC in August 2018 in the northeast of the country.  As of 15 December 2019, a total of 3,348 cases have been confirmed with 2,213 deaths.  

  • There have been 24 new cases between the 9-15 December 2019 in DRC.

  • The risk to travellers is generally extremely low. 

  • Exit screening is in operation for travellers leaving Goma Airport, DRC.

  • If you are unwell within 21 days post trip to DRC, get medical advice.  Call NHS 111 or contact your GP by telephone. Mention that you have returned from DRC and may have a potential exposure to ebola and include the dates and itinerary of your travel.

Information from Travel Health Pro, World Health Organisation, Travax and Fit for Travel and UN news. Compiled by Jo Thompson. 

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