The Government Of Canada Is Warning Of Potential Health Dangers For Canadians Travelling To These Places
Measles is of particular concern.
In addition to travel advisories, the government of Canada also regularly updates "travel health notices" for travelling residents. Potential health risks in particular countires are listed according to their severity.
A Level 1 alert advises that Canadians "practise usual precautions." "Special precautions" are posted for countries with Level 2 advisories.
There are currently no Level 3 or Level 4 advisories in place, which warn Canadians to "avoid non-essential travel" and "avoid all travel," respectively.
Many of the current notices concern the ongoing worldwide outbreak of measles.
All current notices are listed below by Level. Below each posting is relevant information for Canadian travellers. All advice comes directly from the government of Canada.
Read more about specific advisories on the travel health notices page here.
TLDR: The government of Canada regularly posts "travel health notices" on its website. These are organized according to severity. Compiled in this article are all current advisories.
Rubella – Japan
According to the government website, "Rubella is a highly contagious disease caused by the rubella virus. It most often affects children." Moreover, the disease may be spread through direct contact and through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. People who are "not fully immunized" are most at risk.
The government advises that Canadians get vaccinated and monitor their health when travelling in Japan. Non-immune pregnant women should avoid travel.
Yellow fever – Brazil
"Yellow fever is a serious and occasionally fatal disease. It is caused by a virus which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. The most effective way to prevent yellow fever is to be vaccinated," states the government of Canada website.
"Vaccination is recommended for anyone 9 months of age or older." But even those who have received the vaccine should "protect [themselves] from insect bites at all times, especially around sunrise and sunset"
Polio – Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia.
Polio "is a highly contagious disease. It can cause paralysis and death. It is spread through the feces of a person who is infected with the virus. It enters the body through your mouth, mainly from food or water that is contaminated with feces."
Canadian travellers to these countries should get vaccinated, "eat and drink safely," and "practise good hand hygiene."
Ebola virus – Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Ebola "is a severe and often fatal viral disease. It is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals. It can also spread from person to person through contact" with bodily fluids and tissue, bodies of individuals who died after infection, and objects that have come in contact with infected individuals.
Canadians travelling to these countries should avoid contact with sick people, practise safe sex, avoid close contact with animals, "avoid handling raw or undercooked meat," "practise strict hand-washing routines," and "avoid contact with medical equipment."
Importantly, according to the government, "you should not continue to travel to another country or return home to Canada if you know you have been exposed to or experience symptoms of [Ebola infection]. You should seek medical care immediately."
Zika virus – Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, South America, Southeast Asia, Ocean Pacific Islands, limited areas in North America and Central Africa and West Africa
Zika "virus typically causes mild illness lasting only a few days. Many people who are infected have no symptoms and do not know that they have been infected. However, a zika virus infection in a pregnant woman can pose significant risks to the unborn baby, even if the woman does not develop symptoms of infection."
Zika is spread through mosquito bites.
Canadians travelling to these countries should talk to their healthcare providers before leaving. Pregnant women should avoid travel to these countries.
"All travellers should prevent mosquito bites during the day and night."
Measles – dozens of countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America; United States
A worldwide measles outbreak countinues to unfold. The addition of the United States to this list last month may be most pertinent to Canadians. Outbreaks have been reported in the states of Washington, Illinois, New York, including New York City, Washington, and Texas.
In addition, "individual cases of measles have also been confirmed in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Oregon."
According to the government, measles "is a highly contagious disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air."
Travellers should be vaccintated, wash their hands, and "practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette."
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
MERS-CoV "is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus."
Travellers should eat and drink safely, practise good cough and sneze etiquette, and avoid contact with sick people and animals, "especially camels."
Lassa fever – Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo
Lassa virus is "is most commonly spread through the urine and feces of infected rats."
Travellers to these countries should "avoid contact with rodents" and take precautions to protect themselves "from the spread of germs."
Cholera – Dominican Republic, Haiti, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Somalia, Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe
Cholera "is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Cholera causes watery diarrhea and can quickly lead to severe dehydration. In serious cases it can lead to death if left untreated."
Travellers to these countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean should eat and drink safely, "practise good hand hygiene," and "consider vaccination," according to the government of Canada.
Drug-resistant Typhoid – Pakistan
Typhoid fever "is an illness that is caused by a type of Salmonella bacteria called Salmonella typhi."
Those travelling to visit friends and relatives "are at higher risk of getting typhoid fever than tourists and business travellers. Travellers visiting family and friends are more likely to eat local food and be exposed to untreated water, which puts them at a greater risk for food and water-borne diseases."
Travellers to Pakistan should eat and drink safely and practise good hand hygiene.
Avian influenza – China
"Avian influenza is a viral infection caused by influenza A viruses that can spread easily and quickly among birds."
Canadian travellers in China should avoid contact with birds and wash their hands often.
Diptheria – Bangladesh, Haiti, Venezuela and Yemen
Diptheria "is a very contagious bacterial disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct, close physical contact, contact with respiratory droplets, and less commonly, through contact with contaminated objects. Diphtheria can be very serious and even deadly, especially for infants and very young children."
Travellers to these countries should be vaccinated, wash their hands frequently, and "practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette."
Monkeypox – Nigeria
Monkeypox "is a disease that is caused by a virus. It is mainly spread to people through direct contact with infected animals (mainly African rodents and monkeys), by bite, scratch, or contact with their body fluids. Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease and does not frequently result in death."
Travellers should avoid contact with animals, especially rodents and monkeys, and "eat and drink safely."
This advice is not comprehensive. Review the entire list of notices, including more detailed information, on the government of Canada website here.