Posted: July 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Health Alert: JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS – SOUTH KOREA: (BUSAN) ALERT


ProMED-mail: Published Date: 2013-07-08 

Japanese Encephalitis Alert in South Korea

Japanese Encephalitis Alert in South Korea

Over half, or 64 per cent, of the mosquitoes recently tested in the southern port city of Busan (Pusan) were found to be carrying the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), prompting the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) to issue a nationwide alert late last week (week of 1 Jul 2013).

Officials say climate change is helping the virus-infected mosquitoes breed (probably referring to increased temperatures speeding larval development) 

Symptoms of the disease include headaches, fever, and convulsions, and in extreme cases, coma (and death). Children are at higher risk, so officials advise parents to make sure young kids are vaccinated.

As the mosquitoes are most active until the end of October, the KCDC advises people to use mosquito nets indoors and limit the amount of time they spend outside. 

When outdoors, the use of long-sleeved clothing and mosquito repellent is recommended.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

Source: http://www.promedmail.org/ 

CDC Releases Cholera Alert for the Dominican Republic

Posted: December 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , | Comments Off on CDC Releases Cholera Alert for the Dominican Republic

CDC / Cholera in the Dominican Republic, update

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Outbreak notice: November 28, 2012 

What is the Current Situation? 

An outbreak of cholera has been ongoing in the Dominican Republic since November 2010. According to the Dominican Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud Publica y Asistencia Social [MSP]), as of November 3, 2012, 6,622 suspected cholera cases and 47 suspected cholera-related deaths have been reported for 2012.

What is Cholera? 

Cholera is a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Cholera is most often spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or drinking water. Water may be contaminated by the feces of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food is often contaminated by water containing cholera bacteria or by being handled by a person ill with cholera. 

How can Travelers Protect themselves?

Most travelers are not at high risk for getting cholera, but people who are traveling to the Dominican Republic should exercise caution to avoid getting sick.

CDC recommends that all travelers prepare a travel health kit when going abroad. If you are planning travel to the Dominican Republic, CDC advises packing the following supplies in your travel health kit to help prevent cholera and to treat it.

  • A prescription antibiotic to take in case of diarrhea
  • Water purification tablets
  • Oral rehydration salts

Dukoral vaccine is not available in USA but is available in Canada.

  • Drink and use safe water*
  • Wash your hands often with soap and safe water*
  • Use toilets; do not defecate in any body of water
  • Cook food well (especially seafood), keep it covered, eat it hot, and peel fruits and vegetables ( Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it.)
  • Clean up safely in the kitchen and in places where the family bathes and washes clothes

Before departing for the Dominican Republic, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for an antibiotic. If you get sick with diarrhea while you are in the Dominican Republic, you can take the antibiotic, as prescribed. Also, remember to drink fluids and use oral rehydration salts (ORS) to prevent dehydration.

If you have severe watery diarrhea, seek medical care right away. 

Source: CDC / Cholera in Dominican Republic, update

We Have the Meningitis Vaccine

Posted: October 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on We Have the Meningitis Vaccine

An outbreak of Meningitis, a disease that causes inflammation of the meninges, the membranes around the spinal cord and brain, has spread to five states with four dead as of Wednesday October 3, 2012.

The disease has affected patients in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Florida, according to the CDC.  Four people have died as a result of the disease; two in Tennessee and one each in Virginia and Maryland.

Meningitis is a vaccine-preventable disease and Passport Health of Sarasota-Bradenton has the meningococcal vaccine.  We urge residents of the Sarasota-Bradenton area to take proactive action to defend their health!  Why would you wait until you had contracted the disease when it is preventable in the first place?

Call to schedule an appointment (941) 362-0304 or come in to one of our offices.

  • Sarasota Office: 2195 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34237
  • Bradenton Office: 4800 26th St West, Bradenton FL 34207

Related articles

CDC Maps World-Wide Health Risks

Posted: September 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , | Comments Off on CDC Maps World-Wide Health Risks

Cickenpox Outbreak in Glades County Immigration Detention Center

Posted: July 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts, Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Cickenpox Outbreak in Glades County Immigration Detention Center

On Tuesday, July 3rd it was reported that there was an outbreak of Chickenpox at the Glades County Detention Center in South/Central Florida.  Authorities are watching the outbreak closely as Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that can be spread through physical contact or through the air.

Adults can get chickenpox as well. Taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Checkenpox_Adult_back.jpg

We usually associate Chickenpox with childhood but it often happens that adults who were not vaccinated or never had Chickenpox get infected.

Right now the authorities at Glade County Detention Center are working to separate those who have had Chickenpox before and those who have not.  Visitations are cancelled for now.  Since Chickenpox takes 10-21 days to develop those who have never had it before will be placed under observation for the next few weeks.

Chickenpox is caused by the Varicella virus.  The vaccine is called Varivax and it is administered to children in two doses.  One when the child is 12 to 15 months old, and another when he/she is 4-6 years old.  Vaccination is credited with reducing the incidence of the disease by up to 70-90% with a corresponding drop in related hospital admissions and death.  The Vaccine became widespread in the United States in 1995.

Where vaccines are available they are considered the best preventative health measure against disease.

South African Kulula Airlines Has a Good Sense of Humor

Posted: June 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on South African Kulula Airlines Has a Good Sense of Humor



A Kulula Aircraft

Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg . Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining.

Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,
“People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”


On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”


On landing, the stewardess said,
“Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”


“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”


“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”


As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker:
“Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”

Kulula loves soccer plane, Cape Town Internati...

Kulula loves soccer plane, Cape Town International Airport (Photo credit: flowcomm)


After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced,
“Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”


From a Kulula employee:
“Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth . To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”


“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”


“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”


“Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”


And from the pilot during his welcome message:
“Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”


Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said,
“That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”


Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City . Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”


Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”


An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline”. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said,
“Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?”
“Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?”
The little old lady said,
“Did we land, or were we shot down?”


After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal..”


Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement:
“We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”


Heard on a Kulula flight:
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ’em, you can smoke ’em.”

CDC Confirms Four New Japanese Encephalitis Cases

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on CDC Confirms Four New Japanese Encephalitis Cases

PEAK SEASON: The CDC said vaccination is still the best preventive measure; http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2012/06/06/2003534649

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed four new cases of Japanese encephalitis in Taiwan and urged the public to take precautions against mosquito bites during the peak June and July transmission period for the illness.

The four, all residing in Greater Tainan, were treated and some have been discharged from hospital, the CDC said in a statement.

The two men and two women infected with the disease are aged between 40 and 74, it said.

The four had been living or working in places close to pig pens, pigeon farms, ponds, heron nests or other areas prone to mosquito infestations, the CDC said.

Japanese encephalitis is transmitted mainly by mosquitoes.

The incubation period for the disease is five to 15 days, the CDC said. In mild cases, the symptoms are headache and fever, while in severe cases the patient may suffer convulsions, it said.

Late last month, the CDC confirmed the nation’s first case of Japanese encephalitis this year.

With the peak transmission season about to begin, the health agency urged the public to take preventative measures, such as wearing long pants and long sleeves to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

However, vaccination is the most effective method of preventing the disease, the CDC said, urging parents of children who have not yet received the three-stage vaccination to consult a doctor.

There are between 20 to 40 reported cases of Japanese encephalitis each year in Taiwan, with an annual death rate of between zero and two, according to CDC data.

Most patients are adults over the age of 20, the statistics show.

Traveling to London for the Olympic Games? Here are some Health Tips

Posted: May 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Traveling to London for the Olympic Games? Here are some Health Tips

In just a few weeks, the world will watch as athletes from around the globe compete for Olympic and Paralympic gold, silver, and bronze medals. If you are one of the millions of people who will travel to the United Kingdom (UK) to watch the Games firsthand, make sure you remember your good travel sense.

In many ways, travel to and throughout the UK is similar to travel in the United States when it comes to health and safety. However, the expected crowds in the host city increase your risk of illness and injury.

Be prepared and practice the smart safety and health habits you normally would at home, so your Olympic and Paralympic memories are about the competitions and sites, not your illnesses or injuries.

Before you board that plane
• Make sure you are up to date on your routine vaccines
• Check the extent of your medical insurance coverage
• Familiarize yourself with the operation of the United Kingdom’s health services

Once in London
• Speak like a Londoner 😉
• Wash your hands often with soap and water
• Cover your coughs and sneezes
• Protect yourself from the sun
• Drink and eat regularly to stay hydrated
• Practice healthy behaviors
• Stay alert, especially in crowds
• Follow local laws and customs as well as Olympic and Paralympic Games security regulations
• Make a photocopy of your passport to carry with you at all times.

When You Get Home…

Relax! Hopefully your trip included fun and excitement, but if illness and injury were also a part of your trip, make sure you follow up with a health care provider.

Be sure to share the details of your itinerary and activities with your provider.

For more information: CDC / London 2012: Olympic and Paralympic Games

Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization: Epidemiology alert, May 4th, 2012

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization: Epidemiology alert, May 4th, 2012

PAHO / WHO / Cholera, May 2012

Considering the start of the rainy season in Central America and the Caribbean, which increases the risk of transmission for various diseases, including cholera, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) encourages Member States the continuation of surveillance efforts to detect the occurrence of outbreaks and implementing intervention actions to reduce cholera spread determinants.


With respect to the current cholera situation in the island of Hispaniola, the total number of cases in Haiti, from the beginning of the epidemic was 534,647 of which 287,656 (53%) were hospitalized and 7,091 died.

During the last three weeks, an increase of cases has been detected primarily in the departments of Nord Ouest, Sud, Sud-Est and in the capital city Port-au-Prince, Ouest department. This rise is associated with the onset of the rainy season, which began earlier than expected.

Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, the total of suspected cases reported since the beginning of the epidemic of which 17,977 (77%) were hospitalized and 399 died.

In the past two weeks, there has been an increase in cases due to an outbreak in the town of Tamboril, province of Santiago. This outbreak is associated with heavy rains that caused flooding and damage to the main aqueducts system.

Dominican Republic authorities are implementing intervention measures to control this situation.

Source: PAHO / Cholera, May 4 th , 2012

World Malaria Day, Malaria Risk For Travellers

Posted: April 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: | Comments Off on World Malaria Day, Malaria Risk For Travellers

April 25, 2012 marks this year’s World Malaria Day. Passport Health Sarasota reminds travellers that there is risk of malaria transmission in many tropical countries around the world.

Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease. It is caused by a parasite which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. There is no vaccine available against malaria.

All travellers are at risk if going to a destination where malaria occurs.

Travellers can reduce their risk by following four principles of malaria prevention, called the “ABCD” of malaria:

  1. be Aware of malaria risks and symptoms
  2. know how to prevent mosquito Bites
  3. take anti-malarial drugs or “Chemoprophylaxis”, if appropriate
  4. seek medical help early for Diagnosis, if malaria-like symptoms develop

Where is Malaria a Concern?

  • Globally, there are over 100 countries or areas at risk of malaria transmission.
  • Malaria risk can change based on season (rainy/dry), location (rural/urban), and altitude.
  • If travelling to any of these areas, you may be at risk:
    • Most of sub-Saharan Africa and limited areas in Northern Africa (most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa).
    • Large areas of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and some parts of East Asia.
    • Areas in South and Central America as well as the Caribbean, including parts of Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
    • Limited areas in the Middle East, as well as limited parts of Europe.
    • Papua New Guinea and in parts of other small islands in the Oceania region.

PHAC / regions of risk for malaria among popular Canadian tourist destinations


Consult a doctor, nurse or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

It is recommended that travellers:

  1. Protect themselves from mosquito bites
  2. Discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication with a health care provider before departure
  3. Know the symptoms of malaria and see a health care provider if they develop.

Source: PHAC / World Malaria Day – Malaria Risk For Travellers