Yellow Fever

April 2017: Yellow Fever Outbreak in Brazil!


As of March 31st, the Government of Canada has issued a travel health notice for travelers going to Brazil. There is an outbreak of yellow fever in some areas of Brazil, including the seven states: Bahia, Espirito, Snato, Goias, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Tocantins. For travelers wishing to head to Brazil, the yellow fever vaccination is recommended. It is important to note that the shortage in yellow fever vaccinations is currently still in effect, so be sure to check check in with a Designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre a minimum of SIX WEEKS before departure. Travelers are also asked to consider not travelling to Brazil, or other places with yellow fever, until further notice. If you do travel, remember to bring your Yellow Fever Vaccination Card and to protect yourself from mosquito bites. If you feel ill, check-in with a doctor, and make sure to mention that you have traveled to a place with yellow fever.

Zika Virus

Jan 2017: Zika Virus Update

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Local transmission of Zika virus has been reported in Florida and Texas (in the United States). Individuals travelling to these areas are reminded to:

  • avoid travel if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy
  • protect themselves against mosquito bites using a variety of insect repellent, permethrin coated clothing, nets, and avoiding the outdoors during dawn and dusk hours, when there are the most mosquitoes
  • avoid sex during and 6 months after visiting an area with Zika virus, especially with partners that have been infected with Zika virus
  • after returning, pay attention to your health; if you develop any symptoms of Zika or feel sick, let your doctor or other healthcare provider know, and let them know you have recently travelled to an area with Zika virus

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause Guillain-Barre Syndrom and microcephaly in fetuses of pregnant women

Polio News

March 2017: Polio Update

Source:, Source:

some countries currently require proof of vaccination against polio, especially if they intend to stay in a country with identified polio for 1 month or more. While most children in Canada recieve the polio vaccine as part of their routine childhood immunizations, all travellers are asked to ensure their polio vaccinations are up to date. Travellers are asked to:

  • adults: consider getting a booster shot; WHO may require adults to recieve an extra booster vaccination between 4-12 months before international travel to some polio countries, even if immunity is up-to-date.
  • children: make sure the child's vaccination is up to date; check in with a travel clinic and your pediatrician if you are unsure
  • ensure safe hygiene practices; washing hands before food consumption, ensuring that food is fully cooked and washed in clean water, washing after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and use of alcohol-based sanitizer where soap/ clean water is unavailable.

Polio is a viral illness that is primarily spread from unclean hygiene practices, especially with contaminated water or not practing safe hand-washing practices after using the bathroom/changing diapers. In some cases, polio can cause paralysis. The disease is most dangerous in children under the age of 5, although it can affect people at any age.