Typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”) in the Philippines


Updated: June 6, 2014

Travel health notice

Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda) made landfall in central Philippines in November 2013. A state of national calamity remains in effect due to the extensive damage to the area. Critical services such as transportation, electricity and sanitation systems continue to be heavily impacted in some areas. Access to safe food and water supplies and medical services may be limited and strained due to the large scale of the natural disaster. 

There is an ongoing outbreak of measles in Manila and other regions of the country. There have also been reported cases of measles in unimmunized travellers returning to Canada from the Philippines.  Travellers should keep their routine vaccinations, including measles, up-to-date. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada advises that Canadians follow the recommendations below if travelling to affected areas. Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada is advising against non-essential travel to the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Travellers should consult the country advice and advisories page for Philippines for an up-to-date list of affected areas, additional information on safety and security, and instructions if they are in or travelling to the region.  

Recommendations

If you must travel to the affected areas be aware that there is an increased risk of injury and illness:

1. Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel and purchase travel health insurance.

2. Get vaccinated.

3. Practise safe food and water precautions.

Widespread damage to infrastructure in the affected areas has displaced millions of people, and has impacted sanitation systems and food and water supplies. Some areas remain inaccessible. There is an increased risk of food- and water-related diseases, like travellers’ diarrhea, cholera, hepatitis A, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis and typhoid.

4. Protect yourself against insect bites.

Flooding and standing water increase the risk of insect-related diseases such as chikungunyadengue feverJapanese encephalitis and malaria. Travellers should take precautions to avoid insect bites.

5. Protect yourself against animal-related diseases.

Due to the displacement of the people in these areas, there is likely an increase of stray animals. Travellers should take precautions to avoid contact with all animals, as they may carry rabies.

6. Pack a travel health kit, with first aid supplies and medication to handle minor injuries and illnesses, and to manage pre-existing medical conditions.

7. Protect yourself against injury and illness:

8. Be aware:

9. If you are travelling to the affected areas to support relief efforts (aid workers), protect yourself

10. Consult the Philippines travel health page for additional information.

11. After your return home to Canada

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