Sunday, April 16, 2017
It's coming to that time of year again - the school year is drawing to an end, sunny days are approaching, and you are trying to get ready for the big summer holiday. We imagine that the last thing you want to worry about is whether you are up to date health and vaccination wise for the country you are visiting. So, that's why we have put together a summary of common travel vaccinations you might need to be aware of for that big holiday.
If you are planning to visit Africa, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South or Central America you will want to consider the typhoid fever vaccination. Typhoid is found in different parts of the world, specifically where there is poor hygenie and food conditions.
The vaccination is especially important if you are going to be staying and engaging witih local people, or if you plan to be in one of the above areas for a considerable length of time.
There are a couple of options when it comes to vaccination - you can either choose from an injection, or capsules, of which your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you on.
This is most important to consider if you are visiting sub-Saharan and northern Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South and Central America, and the Middle East. This is because Hepatitis A is most widespread in these parts of the world, which is why you must be cautious when visiting. It is spread through poor food hygiene, drinking water that is contaminated, or close contact with someone with the infection.
The vaccine can come in three forms, of which your doctor or GP will be able to advise on, and they are: hepatitis A only vaccination, combined vaccine with hepatitis B, combined vaccine with typhoid fever.
Yellow fever is spread via a type of mosquito, but can be prevented by having a vaccination. Typically, yellow fever is found in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and in parts of the Caribbean. Infection can occur when a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.
If you are planning to travel to any of the areas mentioned you must enquire about a yellow fever vaccine in enough time, as the vaccination should be given at least 10 days before travelling. It is just a single injection that you will need.
Be mindful that some countries also require proof of vaccination before entry!
The NHS recommends that you get vaccinated agains rabies if you are visiting a country where it is common, you plan to stay for a prolonged time, and where you may not have immediate access to medical care. You can find out here what the latest risk factors are associated with each country for rabies.
The vaccination is given in three doses, into your upper arm. With the second being given 7 days after the first, and the third dose being given 14 days after the second. As such, be mindful of time scales if you are travelling to a country where rabies is high risk.
Malaria is the one health scare that most people are familiar with. Like yellow fever, malaria is caused by being bitten by an infected mosquito.
It is important to research whether you are visiting a malaria high risk country, as malaria prevention tablets must be taken in advance (and during) travel. Malaria is common in the following areas: Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Middle East and some of the Pacific Islands. Although you should take a look at the full list of locations here.
There is no vaccination for malaria, but there is tablets available to reduce the risk. Our doctor may be able to help, find out about our malaria service here.
For a full list of travel immunisations visit the NHS website.