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Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:40

Travel Vaccines

Tetanus, Diptheria and Polio: You may need a booster if you were immunised as a child

Hepatitis A and Typhoid: Advised for travel to countries with poor public health and sanitation. These infections are more serious in adults and occur by eating contaminated food and drink.

Yellow Fever: A serious viral infection transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. A valid certificate of immunisation with this vaccine is a mandatory requirement for entry to a few tropical countries. The certificate may be requested by some countries if the traveller is arriving from a yellow fever zone. The certificate is valid from 10 days following vaccination.

Hepatitis B: This is present worldwide and is particularly spread through unprotected sex, blood transfusions, contaminated drug needles and inadequately sterilised medical equipment. Vaccination is advised for a longer stay overseas in countries with high rates of infection, occupational risk or in individuals at particular risk through sexual behaviour. Travellers should avoid tattoos, body piercing and unnecessary chiropody and dental care while in developing countries.

Japanese B Encephalitis: A serious viral infection transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. Mainly located in South East Asia, particularly in rural areas where there are rice paddy fields and pig farming.

Tick Borne Encephalitis: A viral disease transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. It is located mainly in forested areas within Europe. In these areas, it should be considered for any trips of a few weeks involving walking or camping.

Meningitis A and C: Vaccination is recommended for those travelling rough and likely to be in contact with the local population in epidemic areas or during the dry season in several parts of the world. Proof of vaccination is required by officials for entry into Saudi Arabia.

Tuberculosis: Travellers planning to spend more than a month in Africa, Asia, Central or South America or Eastern Europe who have not already been immunised against the disease should discuss the advisability of BCG immunisation with their GP or travel health clinic at least two months before departure.

Rabies: Rabies vaccine before travel is usually only advised to travellers who are at particular risk of infection or are travelling to remote areas without easy access to medical treatment.

If Bitten: Wash the wound immediately using soap or detergent and apply alcohol, if possible, note date and place of the bite and the animal's description. Seek medical attention fast - post exposure vaccination must be started immediately - ask for 'human diploid cell vaccine' if possible.

Malaria: Malaria is a health risk for those who travel to tropical destinations. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito, which is most active at dusk and dawn. Caution should be taken as malaria can be fatal if not treated promptly. Mechanical protection (i.e. covering up) is very important as antimalarial tablets are not 100% effective in preventing Malaria.

Prevent Mosquito Bites: Avoid exposing skin after sunset. Wear protective clothing such as long cotton sleeves and trousers.

Use insect repellents on exposed skin areas, especially wrists,, ankles and feet. Wrist and ankle bands soaked in insecticide and applied each evening may provide protection for several weeks.

Use a mosquito net in malarial areas.

Mosquito coils and vaporising mats (the latter depends on an electricity supply) can be used in a room or while sitting outside.

Antimalarial Tablets: The following are commonly advised: Chloroquine, Mefloquine, Proguanil, Doxycycline, Malarone. Your GP will advise you on the dosage. If a reaction develops during this period, see your doctor. You may have to continue taking antimalarial tablets after your return (your GP will advise you). This is to ensure you cover the incubation period, but check the pack for specific details. It is also important to take the right tablets for the area you are visiting as in some areas, the disease is resistant to certain medicines -talk to your doctor well in advance of your journey.

Antimalarial tablets are not 100% effective in preventing Malaria, but they can reduce disease severity. If you suffer from a bout of diarrhoea you should take extra care to avoid mosquito bites as suffering from diarrhoea can reduce the effectiveness of antimalarial medications, leaving you less well protected.

Main signs and symptoms of malaria:

(for more information on the signs and symptoms consult a health care professional)
Flu like symptoms, Chills with sweating, Fever, Headache.

Link to Fit for Travel: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx

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