Other risks

Influenza (Seasonal)

Seasonal influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract and spreads easily from person to person via respiratory droplets when coughing and sneezing. Symptoms appear rapidly and include fever, muscle aches, headache, malaise (feeling unwell), cough, sore throat and a runny nose. In healthy individuals, symptoms improve without treatment within two to seven days. Severe illness is more common in those aged 65 years or over, those under 2 years of age, or those who have underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for complications of influenza.

Seasonal influenza in Aruba-Caribbean Islands (Netherlands)

Seasonal influenza occurs throughout the world. In the northern hemisphere (including the UK), most influenza occurs from as early as October through to March. In the southern hemisphere, influenza mostly occurs between April and September. In the tropics, influenza can occur throughout the year.

Prevention

All travellers should:

  • Avoid close contact with symptomatic individuals
  • Avoid crowded conditions where possible
  • Wash their hands frequently
  • Practise ‘cough hygiene’: sneezing or coughing into a tissue and promptly discarding it safely, and washing their hands
  • Avoid travel if unwell with influenza-like symptoms
  • A vaccine is available in certain circumstances (see below)*
*In the UK, seasonal influenza vaccine is offered routinely each year to those at higher risk of developing of severe disease following influenza infection, and certain additional groups such as healthcare workers and children as part of the UK national schedule (see information on vaccination). For those who do not fall into these groups, vaccination may be available privately.

 

If individuals at higher risk of severe disease following influenza infection are travelling to a country when influenza is likely to be circulating they should ensure they received a flu vaccination in the previous 12 months.

The vaccine used in the UK protects against the strains predicted to occur during the winter months of the northern hemisphere. It is not possible to obtain vaccine for the southern hemisphere in the UK, but the vaccine used during the UK influenza season should still provide important protection against strains likely to occur during the southern hemisphere influenza season, and in the tropics.

Avian influenza

Avian influenza viruses can rarely infect and cause disease in humans. Such cases are usually associated with close exposure to infected bird or animal populations. Where appropriate, information on these will be available in the outbreaks and news sections of the relevant country pages. Seasonal influenza vaccines will not provide protection against avian influenza.

Avian influenza in brief

COVID-19

COVID-19 disease is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV2. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature; symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. Older people and those with underlying health problems are more likely to develop severe disease. SARS-CoV2 may have originated from an unknown animal source but is mainly transmitted from human to human by respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions.

COVID-19 has been reported in this country. Latest case numbers are provided by the World Health Organization. Monitor the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice and their country specific pages for travel advisories.

Prevention

All travellers should:

  • Check the latest official travel advice for their destination and check with their airline/tour operator and travel insurer before travel.
  • Maintain good hand and personal hygiene. Wash hands regularly with soap and or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser before handling food and after being in public spaces.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms, or who appears unwell.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Keep up to date with guidance on social distancing measures. Local strict social distancing measures may be in place and should be observed.

To reduce the risk of passing coronavirus to others, anyone with respiratory symptoms should:

  • Cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow.
  • Use paper tissues only once and dispose of them carefully, then wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.

Should a mask be worn (generally not recommended outside of a clinical setting), all the recommended precautions in order to minimise the risk of transmission should still be used.

Those who develop symptoms of COVID-19 must follow current national guidance; see the Public Health England stay at home guidance.

Resources

Important News

19 Jan 2016

Diseases transmitted by insects and ticks in the Americas

Depending on the destination, travellers may be at risk of a number of different diseases Read more

21 Jul 2015

Chikungunya virus: Caribbean and the Americas

Ongoing surveillance on Chikungunya virus in Caribbean and the Americas Read more

Outbreaks

Using information collated from a variety of sources, we regularly review and update information on overseas disease outbreaks and other health issues that may affect the UK traveller.

Please note that not all cases of disease or outbreaks are reported; some diseases may only be reported if they occur outside of the usual recognised risk area or season, or they have been reported in greater than usual numbers.

Further information on the Outbreak Surveillance section.

Map

Weather

Aruba- Caribbean Islands (Netherlands)
-18°C

Foreign travel advice

common-wealth-office