The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Cyclone Idai in southern Africa

Level 2

Practise special precautions

Released: April 10, 2019

Current Situation

Parts of MozambiqueMalawi, and Zimbabwe have been severely affected by tropical cyclone Idai.

Idai made landfall near Beira City in central Mozambique, causing heavy rains, strong winds, and severe flooding. The provinces most affected by flooding in Mozambique are Sofala and Zambezia as well as the districts of Cuamba and Madimba in the province of Niassa. The provinces of Manica, Inhambane and Tete are also impacted.

Southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe are also experiencing severe flooding due to cyclone Idai.

Depending on your destination, there could be disruptions to the following essential services:

  • clean water and food supply
  • emergency services
  • medical care
  • sanitation
  • shelter
  • mosquito control

These conditions can lead to outbreaks of infectious diseases.


Before your trip

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel.

During your trip

Practise safe food and water precautions

Flooding and standing water increases the risk of water-borne disease such as:

Protect yourself from insect bites at all times.

Flooding and standing water also increases the risk of insect-related diseases such as: 

Avoid contact with animals

Depending on your travel plans, a health care professional might recommend getting vaccinated against rabies before you travel.

If bitten or scratched, immediately clean the wound and seek medical attention.

Protect yourself against injury and illness

If travelling to areas affected by cyclone Idai:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local news to stay informed on the current situation.
  • Avoid contact with flood or standing water that may be contaminated.
  • Avoid downstream areas and keep to higher grounds.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Wear appropriate sturdy footwear in all disaster-affected areas.
  • Avoid contact with dead bodies.

Wear gloves:

  • when touching blood, body fluids, mucous membranes and broken skin
  • when handling objects, surfaces, debris, or anything that may have been soiled with the blood or body fluid of others

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

  • Use personal protective equipment as indicated by the coordinating relief organization.  These may include gloves, gowns, safety glasses, boots, and hard hats.

After your trip

Seek medical attention if you are injured, sick, or having trouble coping with stress after you return to Canada. Tell the health care professional:

  • where you have travelled
  • what activities you participated in (e.g. disaster relief work)

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.Related links

Report a problem or mistake on this pageShare this pageDate modified: 2017-04-05