ID Consult

International travel updates


Current disease outbreaks

Yellow fever: Brazil

Since Dec. 2017, more than 1,100 laboratory-confirmed cases of yellow fever have been reported, including 17 reported in unvaccinated international travelers. Fatal cases also have been reported. In addition to areas in Brazil where yellow fever vaccination had been recommended prior to the recent outbreaks, the vaccine now also is recommended for people who are traveling to or living in all of Espírito Santo State, São Paulo State, and Rio de Janeiro State, as well as several cities in Bahia State. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid travel to areas where vaccination is recommended. Those previously vaccinated at 10 years ago or longer should consider a booster.

Listeria: South Africa

An ongoing outbreak has been reported since Jan. 2017. Around 1,000 people have been infected. Avoid consumption of processed meats including “Polony” (South African bologna).

Measles: Belarus, Japan, Liberia, and Taiwan

All countries have reported an increase in cases since April 2018. Measles outbreaks have been reported in an additional 13 countries since Jan. 2018, including France, Ireland, Italy, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.

Norovirus: Canada

More than 120 cases have been linked to consumption of raw or lightly cooked oysters from western Canada.

Dr. Bonnie M. Word, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and director of the Houston Travel Medicine Clinic

Dr. Bonnie M. Word

So how do you assist your patients? The best thing you can do is to make sure their routine immunizations are up to date and to encourage them to seek pretravel advice 4-6 weeks prior to international travel.

For more country-specific information and up to date travel alerts, visit

Dr. Word is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and the director of the Houston Travel Medicine Clinic. She said she had no relevant financial disclosures.

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