Health au­thor­i­ties is­sue ad­vice as ‘in­fec­tious dis­eases con­tinue to spread glob­ally’

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Malta has low preva­lence for many in­fec­tious dis­eases how­ever due to travel for work, busi­ness or leisure, Mal­tese cit­i­zens can be­come ex­posed to preva­lent in­fec­tious dis­eases, the Su­per­in­ten­dence of Pub­lic Health said. The pub­lic is ad­vised to take the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions for the var­i­ous types of in­fec­tious dis­eases which can be present.

In­fec­tious dis­eases con­tinue to spread glob­ally, the state­ment said. Some in­fec­tious dis­eases are more preva­lent in spe­cific ar­eas and the health au­thor­i­ties across the globe have sys­tems in place for the preven­tion and con­trol of such dis­eases. The risk of be­com­ing ill or in­jured dur­ing in­ter­na­tional travel de­pends on many fac­tors, such as the re­gion of the world vis­ited, a trav­eller’s age and health sta­tus, the length of the trip, and the di­ver­sity of planned ac­tiv­i­ties.

Cur­rently, there are var­i­ous in­fec­tious dis­ease threats. Vac­cine pre­ventable dis­eases are highly preva­lent in var­i­ous coun­tries. The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion an­nounced that the num­ber of measles cases in Europe has in­creased dur­ing the first six months of 2018, with more than 41,000 cases re­ported.

MERS-CoV re­mains a pos­si­bil­ity for peo­ple who travel to the Mid­dle East and more specif­i­cally to the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia. An­other on­go­ing out­break oc­cur­ring in Al­ge­ria is that of cholera whereby 161 cases were af­fected. The 10th out­break of ebola and the yel­low fever out­break are still spread­ing in the Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of Congo.

Such dis­eases can be pre­vented by en­sur­ing that peo­ple are fully pro­tected against vac­cine pre­ventable dis­eases through vac­ci­na­tion, en­sur­ing sound hy­giene prac­tices, prac­tic­ing safe food prac­tices by drink­ing bot­tled water, eat­ing prop­erly cooked food and avoid­ing con­sump­tion of raw seafood, avoid­ing in­sect bites and prac­tic­ing safe sex.

Prompt re­fer­ral to a doc­tor if symp­toms arise dur­ing or af­ter trav­el­ling abroad is es­sen­tial.

For more in­for­ma­tion on travel ad­vice con­tact the In­fec­tious Dis­ease Preven­tion and Con­trol Unit on helpline 21324086 or the Na­tional Im­mu­ni­sa­tion Ser­vice Cen­tre on 25680299.

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