Sun, Jan 28, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Travelers in flu season urged to get vaccinated

FELLOW TRAVELERS:The CDC warned of influenza and measles outbreaks in Europe and Asia, stomach flu season in South Korea, as well as mumps cases in New Zealand

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

With schools on winter breaks and the Lunar New Year holidays around the corner, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday urged people planning to travel abroad to maintain good personal hygiene to avoid bringing infectious diseases home as “souvenirs.”

People who are planning overseas trips should check the latest health information for their destinations in advance and ideally visit a doctor two to four weeks before leaving to get the vaccines or medicines needed to prevent infectious diseases, the CDC said.

The flu season has reached its peak in South Korea and it is also viral gastroenteritis season there, the CDC said, adding that people traveling to the country should pay attention to respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, as well as food hygiene, and should frequently wash their hands.

International disease surveillance data show that flu activity in the northern hemisphere is rising and people are advised to get flu vaccines, the CDC said.

The predominant circulating viruses are influenza B viruses in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and European countries; the influenza A (H3N2) virus in the US and Canada; and the influenza A (H1N1) virus in Japan, the CDC said.

The CDC said more cases of the measles have been reported in Europe than in previous years, with the most serious outbreak in Romania, and others reported in Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Greece and major cities in the UK, as well as in Thailand, Indonesia and India.

People traveling to these areas should avoid bringing along children under one year of age or who have not had their measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, the CDC said.

The CDC said cases of yellow fever in Brazil have increased in recent weeks, while a mumps outbreak has been reported in New Zealand’s North Island and Hawaii.

It said travelers should report symptoms to the quarantine stations at airports when they return to Taiwan, and tell a doctor about their trip if they feel ill within 21 days after returning from another country.

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