Travel Advice: Yellow Fever Certificate Required For Nigeria

25.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

UPDATED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Yellow Fever VACCINATION: Nigeria

The World Health Organization recently updated the yellow fever recommendations and requirements for residents and travellers to Nigeria.

As of 1 July 2019, the yellow fever certificate requirement for travellers to Nigeria changed. All travellers aged 9 months or over are now required to travel with a yellow fever vaccination certificate along with a valid visa. Failure to provide a valid certificate where required could deny entry to that country, or result in quarantine.

Previously a certificate was only required for those arriving from risk areas countries. However, an on-going outbreak of yellow fever, which started in September 2017, is continuing therefore a revised classification has been made. Between January and April 2019, a total of 930 suspected cases were reported in 447 Local Government Areas.

Advice for travellers


The Fleet Street Clinic would like to remind all travellers from the United Kingdom that there is a risk of yellow fever transmission throughout Nigeria.

We are a Certified Yellow Fever Centre with availability throughout the week and are usually able to accommodate same day appointments requests.

What is Yellow Fever?


Yellow Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and has the potential to spread rapidly and cause serious public health impact. There is no specific treatment, although the disease is preventable using a single dose of yellow fever vaccine, which provides immunity for life.

For more information about Yellow Fever & the Vaccine.

Anyone travelling to Nigeria should book a Pre-Travel Consultation. One of our specialist Travel Nurses will access if a Yellow Fever vaccine is suitable for you.

Links:
World Health Organization

Travel Health Advice: Rugby World Cup 2019

23.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Japan is hosting the biggest Rugby event of the year in September.

Starting 20th September, across 12 Japanese cities, 48 matches will be played to determine the winner of Rugby World Cup 2019. Millions of people from around the world are expected to travel to Japan to attend this amazing sporting event. Much like any other reason for travelling, it does come with some health risks.

Big sporting events, like the Rugby World Cup, attract huge numbers of people which increases the risk of getting sick and spreading diseases. Venues are sometimes described as giant Petri dishes, where viruses and bacteria can flourish and spread. 

But how can you prepare yourself so you remain healthy throughout your holiday?
Be prepared…

Get Vaccinated


It is advised that individuals are up-to-date with routine immunisations including diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP). 

If you plan to venture outside of the major cities and explore Japan whilst you are there, you may need to consider some travel vaccines, such as Rabies and Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B. If those plans include visiting more rural areas, Japanese Encephalitis could be considered. For those trekking, hiking or camping, a vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis will provide protection against the disease. 

MMR is a must


Ensure you are immune to measles before you travel. Japan has had multiple large outbreaks of measles this year and it is a highly contagious disease. 

The best protection against measles is to ensure you have received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine. You may not have received the full course during your childhood vaccines which means you’re not fully immune. A simple blood test can determine immunity if you are unsure. 

Beware of Flu Season


Flu season for the Northern Hemisphere begins in Autumn, which coincides with the start of the Rugby World Cup. It’s possible people could pick up the flu virus at these events as the Flu is a highly contagious viral disease. Transmission of the flu is always amplified when large groups of people congregate in enclosed space.  People travelling to and from mass gatherings can also spread flu to other communities and to family members when they get home. An infected person can transmit the virus before even realising they are sick. 

Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to avoid getting seasonal flu. 

Those travelling from mid-September onwards should consider getting the flu jab as soon as it becomes available.

Find out more about our travel and wellness vaccinations.

Minimize Your Risk


Besides the flu vaccine, here are a few tips on how to minimize your risk of contracting an illness at the Rugby World Cup:

  1. Keep a distance from people coughing and sneezing – droplets from coughs or sneezes containing flu virus can travel at least 3 feet, so keeping this distance from sick people can help lower your chance of becoming ill.
  2. Wash your hands often, before eating or after contact with sick people, public places and bathrooms to limit your chances of contact with the virus.
  3. Carry hand sanitizer to use when hand washing is inconvenient or not available. Ensure it has a minimum of 60% alcohol content to be most effective.
  4. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with your hands.
  5. Use clean, disposable tissues to wipe your mouth or blow your nose. Throw away used tissue immediately after use.
  6. Avoid getting overly cold and wet by wearing appropriate clothing.
  7. if you are already sick, wear a face mask to help lower the chance of spreading your illness to others.

First Aid


Despite having a good reputation for health care, it’s worth being prepared for minor illnesses and injuries when travelling abroad. Pack an essential First Aid Kit for your travels and include some basic items such as pain relief, plasters, antiseptic creams and something to treat minor wounds. Being able to treat minor accidents whilst abroad means less time hunting down a pharmacy or time wasted visiting a doctor should you need it. 

For convenience, we sell a ready to go Essential First Aid Kit, available online.

You can book a pre-travel consultation online.

For more details about the Rugby World Cup.

Travel Tips Thursday - Mozambique

19.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

The Southern African nation, Mozambique is gaining popularity amongst the adventure traveller community. Often referred to as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, it is well off the usual tourist trail of Africa. Mozambique offers rustic beaches, delightful architecture, superb national parks, and plenty of diving opportunities. 

Many choose to start their adventure exploring the capital city, Maputo. It is easy to understand why. It is rich in culture with beautifully preserved Portuguese colonial architecture. You could easily spend a week enjoying the hospitality of the friendly locals, eating the delicious food and partying the night away. Maputo is a largely-underestimated African capital city.

Mozambique is also known for having some of the most pristine dive sites in the world. Tofo is arguably one of the greatest places on Earth to see megafauna marine life. Crystal clear water provides perfect visibility to view the abundant marine life. The beautiful tropical Islands of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos are some of the most romantic and secluded beach destinations in the world – ideal for honeymooners.

Whatever your holiday entails, ensure you read out top travel tips to stay healthy in Mozambique.

Vaccinations

Travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with their routine immunisations including measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and diphtheria-tetanus and polio (DTP). Additional travel vaccinations are advised including hepatitis A, typhoid, rabies and hepatitis B. It’s best to speak with a travel nurse about any specific travel vaccinations you may need in a pre-travel consultation.

For more information on our vaccines, please visit our, travel and wellness vaccination pages.

…What about Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever is a viral haemorrhagic illness spread from the infected bite of the Aedes mosquito. Whilst it can occur in parts of Africa, there is no risk of Yellow Fever in Mozambique. Therefore, travellers do not need to be vaccinated.

The only exception to this will be for travellers who are entering Mozambique from a country which does have a risk of the illness. In this case, it is best to speak to a travel nurse to see if you require the vaccine. If you do, you will need to be in possession of a Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate as a condition of entry. Ask your travel health specialist for advice.

…And Polio?

Polio is a viral infection. As it is contagious, you can get polio from contact with an infected person. In addition, consuming food or water that has been contaminated by a person with poliovirus also puts you at risk. There has been a worldwide effort to eliminate polio, which is proving highly successful. However, Mozambique still remains at risk due to vaccinate-derived circulating strains. All travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with their polio immunisation. The polio vaccine is a combination vaccination, given with diphtheria and tetanus. It provides protection for 10 years.

If you plan to stay for longer than 4 consecutive weeks, it’s advised that your polio vaccine be administered within the last 12-months. You should also have the dose recorded on an International certificate of vaccination prophylaxis card as proof of immunisation. Furthermore, long-term travellers to Mozambique may be required to show this when they leave the country, as proof they have been immunised.

Malaria

All of Mozambique has a risk of malaria. Malaria is an infection spread by the Anopheles mosquitoes which are most active during dusk till dawn. You should take strict precautions against mosquito bites. This includes wearing long loose clothing and using an insect repellent with a minimum of 50% DEET.  You can reduce the risk of indoor mosquito activity with the use of plug-in vaporisers. Plus, sleeping under a mosquito net can help reduce night-time bites.

We recommend taking antimalarial medication for the duration of your trip. As there are different options available, it’s best to speak to a travel nurse to find the best option for you and your family. 

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

Special precautions post-Cyclone Idai 

Cyclone Idai battered the coast of Mozambique on the 9th March 2019. The storms brought heavy rains, winds and flooding. As a result of the initial impact alone, there were hundreds of fatalities. The storm created many serious health risks. Firstly, like most natural disasters, the storm has displaced a huge number of local people. Which as a result, will increase the risk of diseases spreading. Secondly, it has placed a strain on the countries structural and health infrastructure. Which as a result,  and can lead to further flooding and increases the risk of water-borne infections such as cholera. Thirdly, the increase of water has led to an increase in breeding sites for mosquitoes. Therefore, there is an increased risk of malaria and other mosquito-transferred diseases.

Although the risk for tourists will be much lower than that of the local population, extra precautions to avoid infectious diseases should be taken. You should pay extra attention to the food and water hygiene you consume. This will minimise the risk of you getting a diarrhoeal illness.

If you are travelling to an area with a known outbreak, the Cholera vaccine can be considered. Similarly, those undertaking humanitarian work or those with inadequate access to safe water and sanitation should also consider the vaccine.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | July 2019

Is Your Sleep Position Impacting Your Sleep Quality?

19.07.2019 Category: Osteopathy Author: Andrew Doody

A good night’s sleep is essential to your health, and an important part of your overall well-being. Back pain can significantly affect a person’s ability to get the quality and amount of sleep they need. Furthermore, poor bed posture can worsen or even be the cause of backache in the first place. This is because certain positions can place unnecessary pressure on the neck, hips, and back. Here are some pointers of how to maximise the quality of sleep you get if you are suffering from back pain.

Experiment with different sleeping positions.

Finding the best sleeping positions can help ease your back pain. Make sure you have found one or two that are comfortable for you. Having more than one helps so that you are not stuck in the same position for hours on end. Everyone sleeps differently. So, there’s not one perfect position, but a good place to start is by making sure the head, shoulders, and hips are in alignment. The best way to do this is usually by sleeping on the back or side.

Back sleeping

Lying on the back is probably the best all-around sleeping position for a healthy back. It ensures good spinal alignment from the head and cervical vertebrae, through the thoracic and lumbar, all the way down to the pelvis. Because the back is the body’s largest area, weight is most widely distributed in this position, minimising pressure hot spots. However, if you have any lumbar spinal issues, you may feel more comfortable with a pillow placed under your knees. This is because many areas that cause backache in the lumbar spine are at the back, the facet joints and nerve roots. Placing a pillow under the knees allows the lumbar spine to gently flex and gap posteriorly, taking the pressure off these joints and nerves.

Side-lying/ Foetal position

Many people naturally end up slightly flexing their spine for the same reason, by lying on their side with their knees towards their chest a little, the so-called foetal position. This may work well if your issue is more disc-related. Side-lying like this is often the position people find most comfortable. It can, however, twist the spine a little and put it out of alignment. To correct this, if you prefer sleeping on your side, place a firm pillow between your knees. This stops the upper leg falling forward and raises it. This will restore the alignment of the spine, hips and pelvis.

Front sleeping

Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach if you can. This position puts a lot of strain on your back by over-extending it. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it’s the only position they can fall asleep in, or any other position makes them snore. If you’re one of them, try putting a pillow under your stomach to take some of the pressure off your back. If you’re someone who falls asleep on their back or side, then rolls over in their sleep and wakes up on their stomach, try hugging a large pillow against your chest and stomach to keep you in position. Another reason sleeping on the front is considered bad is because the head is usually turned to one side. This twists the spine and places additional stress on the neck, shoulders, and back. To avoid this, you can try lying face down. Place a small firm pillow or tightly rolled-up towel under the forehead, or better still a face pillow, allowing room to breathe. In this position, you should still place a pillow under the stomach.

Reclined sleeping

If all else fails, you can try sleeping in a reclined position. People with spondylolisthesis, for instance, may resort to this after finding it comfortable falling asleep in a recliner chair. There are beds available that can be sat up slightly. So, this is worth investigating.

Invest in a good mattress

It’s worth it! You spend about a third of your life on your mattress. Spend a little more money on the mattress and a little less on the car! You really do get what you pay for.

Firmness

People generally find slightly firmer mattresses work well for lumbar spine problems. This is probably due to what we discussed earlier, in which, the lumbar curve is allowed to extend a little, taking the pressure off the facet joints and nerve roots. This only really follows if you sleep on your back though. People that prefer to side-lie may well find a slightly softer mattress allows your hips and shoulders to sink in a little. Therefore, helping to maintain spinal alignment. This is particularly important if your hips are wider than your waist. Also, for people suffering from upper back issues, too firm a mattress may put unnecessary pressure on the ribcage and therefore upper spine in any position. Perhaps a good compromise here is a ‘pillow top” mattress. This is a good supportive mattress with a softer layer on top. By all means, try different kinds of mattresses, but remember, one night is not enough to really judge. People often sleep in a hotel bed and find it comfortable so decide to buy it. Those mattresses are often designed for short term comfort, not long term support.

Bases

Generally, it’s better to have the mattress do the supporting rather than the base, so a plain platform base is usually best. Having said that some slightly sprung bases do seem to combine well with certain mattresses if they have been designed to do so. If you find the mattress more comfortable on a sprung base, perhaps it’s worth trying a slightly softer mattress on a platform base.

Be ‘Bed Fit’

The healthier and stronger your back is, the better night’s sleep you will get and the better your back will be when you get up in the morning.

Core strengthening exercises will help support the back during the night and prevent back spasms. Gentle stretching before bed can increase flexibility and help to relax the body and reduce stress.

Take care getting in, and especially out, of bed. Take your time. When you wake up in a morning, allow a few minutes to get your muscles and joints moving fully instead of leaping out of bed at the alarm. Roll onto your side then use your arms to push you upright while your legs drop over the side, the sit there for a minute moving gently before slowly standing up.

Perhaps most importantly, if you do have a back or musculoskeletal issue, get it checked. A health professional can assess why you’re suffering and help treat the symptoms. They can suggest the correct investigations, treatment and exercises, as well as further helping you to choose that all important correct mattress.

Booking an appointment with an osteopath could be the start of ending your back pain for good!

Book an osteopathy appointment.

By Andrew Doody |  Osteopath | July 2019

How Acupuncture can support healthy well-being

19.07.2019 Category: General Health Author: Diane Timewell

The health of both our planet and its people is, without doubt, one of the most important issues of our time. Maintaining healthy wellbeing has been in the public eye for some time now, particularly the topic of how to achieve good mental health. Chinese medical thought and acupuncture treatment can help us understand what we can do to help ourselves to achieve and maintain good health. Its teachings encourage us to inhabit our body, to connect to and to nourish our physical self and the physical world around us. This physical basis provides the root of our mental and emotional well-being.

A holistic treatment

Where Western Scientific Medicine has gone down the microscope to discover the minutiae workings of the human body (cells, biochemicals, genes), the understandings of Chinese Medicine, developed over thousands of years, have focused on how the body systems work together. It observes a person in their environment, their lifestyle, their posture… to understand the causes of ill-health, and the symptoms that arise to alert us to this. The whole body-mind is considered, and treated, to bring us back to good health and well-being.

A leap of faith for our Western minds

Acupuncture is a leap of faith for our Western minds. The concepts on which it is based do not exist in Western thought. You can’t cut open the body and find the meridians which form the energetic framework of the human body, or the Qi (pronounced ‘chee’, meaning energy) which flows through this network to motivate our physiological processes. Similarly, you can’t cut open a light bulb and find electricity. Likewise, you cannot cut open a computer and find cyberspace. It doesn’t mean that these things don’t exist. Proof of their existence lies in their application and the same is true of acupuncture treatment. Only through experiencing acupuncture for yourself will you be able to judge its true value.

Acupuncture helps reduce stress

Acupuncture is often described as incredibly relaxing, regardless of what a person seeks treatment for. Furthermore, most patients report an improvement in energy levels, sleep and a feeling of general well-being.

Acupuncture helps calm the nervous system. As a result, it helps switch off the ‘Fight-Flight’ stress response. Fuelled by adrenaline to keep us alert and primed for action, the stress response helps us to achieve. It is a useful tool for success. If the stress reaction is prolonged and not switched off, problems start to arise.

Heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises .. it is perhaps not surprising that stress-related ailments are estimated to account for 75-90% of all doctor’s visits. By calming the body and promoting parasympathetic activity, Acupuncture helps improve circulation and reduce general muscle tension. This enhances all body functions not concerned with immediate survival –  immunity, digestion, fertility, rest, recovery, repair. Generally speaking, the results note an overall feeling of relaxation and well-being.

Acupuncture helps manage day-to-day ailments

Our Acupuncturist, Diane, has 25 years experience in Chinese Medicine. She treats a wide variety of day-to-day ailments. Including headaches, IBS, anxiety, infertility. As well as the musculoskeletal pain, which acupuncture is most famous for. Why not book an appointment today to see how acupuncture can help you improve your health and well-being?

If you think you could benefit from acupuncture, you can book your appointment online.

By Diane Timewell |  Acupuncturist | July 2019

Inca Trail

19.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

June to September is the best months to trek to Machu Picchu, although you can visit all year round. The weather is at its driest and coolest with gloriously sunny days. Trekking to the roof of the Andes is a rewarding experience that many travellers to Peru sign up for. Travellers who are trail-blazing their way on the Inca road to catch a glimpse of the forgotten city should follow our top travel tips to ensure they stay healthy on the road.

Vaccinations

All travellers to Peru should ensure that they are up-to-date with measles, diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP), and have received vaccinations against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. There is a risk of Rabies and Hepatitis B in Peru, and all travellers attempting the Inca Trail should consider vaccinations against these.

There is no risk of Yellow Fever on the Inca Trail or Cusco. However, the vaccination may be recommended to travellers who are doing further travel in Peru, such as the Amazon rainforest. Those planning to extend their trip to South America may require the Yellow Fever vaccination for personal protection. Additionally, you may require a valid yellow fever certificate to enter some other countries. It is best to book in a travel consultation with our specialist travel nurses to discuss your route.

Altitude Sickness

The highest altitude of the Inca trail is 4,215m, a whopping 1,800m higher than Machu Picchu itself! Most people start the hike from Cusco which lies at 3,400m, meaning trekking this wonder of the world poses a real risk of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is unpleasant and can develop into something serious and become life-threatening. It is best avoided by taking time to acclimatise. Ideally, if you are arriving from sea level, spend a few days in Cusco before your trek begins to adjust to the different altitude. Choose a longer trek, a slower ascent over more days will reduce your risk considerably. Alternatively, you can get a prescription of acetazolamide (Diamox) to aid the process. Speak to a specialist travel nurse about this at your pre-travel consultation. Don’t let altitude sickness ruin your trip.

Stay Hydrated

Treks on the Inca trail usually last around 5 days, meaning that an average trekker will probably consume at least 15 litres of water over the course of their trek. Unclean and unsafe drinking water can lead to sickness and diarrhoea so it is important that travellers have access to safe water. Carrying 15 litres of water on the trail is a near impossibility so travellers should ensure that they have a way to make water safe to drink. Carrying water purification tablets, or a bottle with a filter can ensure you have access to safe drinking water throughout.

Travellers Diarrhoea

Travellers diarrhoea and other common gastrointestinal infections can put a dampener on any adventure but especially when hiking. Access to toilets is likely to be limited throughout your journey so it is important to stay healthy. Ensure all food you eat is thoroughly cooked. Pack an alcohol hand gel so you can keep your hand clean before you eat and after using the toilet. It is wise to carry medication with you, so, if you do become unwell you have doctor-approved medication available to take. We recommend packing one of our Worldwide Gastro Kits. Inside there is medicine to prevent and treat travellers diarrhoea, dehydration, mild infections, nausea and vomiting. Hopefully, you won’t have to use this kit, however, for peace of mind, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Foot Health

The Inca trail typically consists of between 6-9 hours of walking a day, with shared tent accommodation. Hiking the Inca Trail through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu is both arduous and awe-inspiring. Make sure you have good walking boots that are broken in before you start. Book an appointment with a podiatrist and osteopath if you have any niggles or pain before setting off. Take care of your feet throughout your adventure – keep them clean and dry to avoid problems. Any blisters should be cleaned and covered with a dressing to prevent pain and infection. Pack your own first aid kit with some basic medications for pain, allergies and upset stomachs in case you do become unwell. Access to medical supplies will not be until Aguas Calientes at the end of the trek. You can buy a Fleet Street Clinic Essential First Aid Kit online to save you the hassle of assembling yourself. We would recommend considering a medical pedicure upon your return. Treat our feet a little bit of TLC for taking you on an adventure of a lifetime.

We would encourage all those taking on the Inca trail adventure to consider booking a travel consultation with either myself or another of our specialist travel nurses. We all have extensive knowledge on what vaccines and health precautions you should take on an individual basis to remain healthy throughout your adventure. Chances are at least one of us has done a similar adventure so we can give you some first-hand experience on what to expect too!

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | July 2019

Travel Tips Thursday - Greenland

19.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Greenland is home to truly magnificent mountainscapes and glaciers.

Jakobshavn Glacier, the world’s fastest-moving glacier in the Northern Hemisphere can be found here.

In the Winter, tourist travel to this wonderland to potentially see the wondrous the Northern Lights. Things are quite different in the Summer.

Chasing the Midnight Sun

Summer in Greenland is an image not often associated with the country. Summertime offers eternal light in the land of ‘The Midnight Sun’ whereby the day has neither a beginning nor an end. Those wanting to experience this time-shifting experience must travel north or the Arctic Circle. The low-lying sun makes the surrounding scenery appear almost dreamlike; icebergs and hilltops are bathed in a surreal palette of pink, purple, yellow and red. Travellers to Greenland have options of hiking the land or sailing the fjords between icebergs.

If you plan to travel to Greenland this summer follow our top travel tips to ensure you stay healthy.

Vaccinations

Even though Greenland resides in the Arctic Circle, travellers should still ensure they receive appropriate pre-travel vaccinations. This includes being up-to-date with Measles, diphtheria-tetanus and polio. Greenland has a high risk of Rabies, a virus spread through the infected bite of a mammal. Travellers who plan to trek inland may wish to consider this vaccination before they travel to reduce the risk.

Suncare

Despite Greenland having long, dark winters, the summer months provide almost constant light. Bright sun, combined with the effects of lights reflection from snow and water can increase the risk of sun damage from UV light. Despite temperatures remaining cold, travellers still need to be sun smart. Ensure you wear a high factor SPF, and use lip balm to prevent cracking. Polarised sunglasses that wrap around will prevent the UV rays causing damage to your eyes.

Sea Sickness

Many activities in Greenland involve taking to the water and visiting the infamous Disko Bay in search of Icebergs. Sometimes the seas can be rough which can make for a miserable time if you are prone to travel sickness.

Sea Sickness can be reduced by:

  • Sit in the centre of the boat where the motion will be less aggressive

  • Close your eyes or focus on a point on the horizon, this can help your inner ear balance.

  • Avoid alcohol and large heavy meals, instead, keep hydrated on water and eat smaller lighter meals

  • Sucking on a mint or ginger sweet can help with nausea

  • Seas Sickness medication tablets

  • Patches that can be used to prevent sea-sickness

Trekking

Parts of Greenland can be remote so taking a good First aid kit with you is essential. Basic provisions include pain relief, plasters and medication to treat an upset stomach, such as loperamide and oral rehydration salts. If you take prescription medication to ensure you pack enough and carry the prescription with you. If you plan on trekking the hinterland, pack additional items such as blister dressings and plasters.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | July 2019

Why You Should Travel With A Medical Kit

18.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Every year, Brit’s take more than 70 million trips abroad. Most notably for holidays, business trips and to visit family and friends. Whilst the majority of people have a safe trip, some people do experience illness or have an accident. In most cases, minor accidents and illnesses don’t require a visit to a medical centre or hospitalization and can be self-treated with the help of a medical kit.

Where you are travelling to and the activities you plan to do there will dictate what type of medical kit(s) you would need.

Essential First Aid Kit  – £27

If you are planning to travel outside of a major city, you’re best to travel with an Essential First Aid Kit. It’s very easy to get scratched, twist an ankle or develop a blister. Particularly if you’re sight-seeing, hiking or even just taking a trip to the beach. Having a few essential supplies handy will reduce the need for a trip to the local chemist. Inside this kit, you will find items aimed at treating minor cuts, grazes, blisters, cleaning wounds, minor burns and sprains.

Worldwide Gastro Kit – £29.95

When you travel to a developing country, you have a high likelihood of catching a stomach bug. Also known as traveller’s diarrhoea. This is not always brought on by unsafe water and can be due to a change in diet or the high levels of impurities in the local water that you’re not used to. However, if the cause is a microorganism such as bacteria, parasite or virus, your symptoms may be much more severe and lead to complications. Travelling with a Worldwide Gastro Kit covers all eventualities. Including preventative items, plus medications for common symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dehydration and travellers diarrhoea.

Sterile Needle Kit – £9.50

The adventure traveller is likely to travel to remote areas where medical supplies are not sterilised to a safe standard or medical care in a hospital setting is not available at all. In these scenarios, it is safest to travel with a Sterile Needle Kit. This kit is to be provided to a medical professional to be used for medical emergencies such as a blood transfusion, fluid replacement, general vaccinations or blood tests. This kit is to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV & Hep B.

Gynae Kit – £29.95

There are many female-specific health concerns that may occur whilst travelling. Unfortunately, urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and thrush (yeast infections) are common among female travellers. Therefore travelling with a Gynae Kit is highly recommended.

Travelling with a fit-for-purpose medical kit is not glamorous. However, you’ll be glad you have it if you suffer any mishaps. Saving you time, money and stress involved in finding a local chemist, medical centre or hospital quickly when you are abroad. And if you don’t, then at worst you’ve lost out on a tiny amount of suitcase space.

Before International Travel you should consider a pre-travel consultation with a specialist travel nurse to discuss the health risks at your destination. You can book a travel appointment online or email us for more information at info@fleetstreetclinic.com.

Health Advice: Protecting health from rising temperatures and extreme heat

17.07.2019 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO), HAS REPORTED THAT POPULATION EXPOSURE TO HEAT IS INCREASING DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE.

The WHO states, ‘global temperatures and the frequency and intensity of heatwaves will rise in the 21st century as a result of climate change’. Extended periods of heat exposure during the day and night time can increase the amount of physiological stress on the human body.’

The stress caused by heat exposure exacerbates the top causes of death globally. This includes respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and renal disease.

They go on to state, ‘Exposure to excessive heat has wide-ranging physiological impacts for all humans, often amplifying existing conditions and resulting in premature death and disability.’

With the temperature said to continue rising, the WHO also states, ‘Awareness remains insufficient of the health risks posed by heatwaves and prolonged exposure to increased temperatures.’

 So, who is most affected by heat exposure and how will it impact your health?

Who is affected?

Rising temperatures affect the whole population. However, some populations are more vulnerable to exposure to excessive heat. Those include:

  • Elderly people
  • Infants and children
  • Pregnant women
  • Outdoor and manual workers 
  • Athletes
  • Poorer communities

How does heat impact health?

With rapid increases in external temperatures, the body will struggle to regulate our internal temperatures. The knock-on effect of this can result in a number of heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyperthermia. Reported small differences in the seasonal changes have been reported to have increased the number of heat-related illness and even death. Rising temperatures can also worsen chronic conditions such as cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrovascular disease and diabetes-related conditions.

What actions can you take to stay cool?

  • Aim to keep your living space cool. WHO suggests ‘below 32 °C during the day and 24 °C during the night’
  • If it is safe, open your windows at night time to cool your living space.
  • Stay out of the heat by staying in the shade and avoiding going outside during the hottest part of the day.
  • Take cool showers and wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink regularly and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Check on vulnerable family members who may be affected by the heat.

What to do if someone shows signs of a heat emergency?

It is extremely important to know what to do when someone is showing signs of heat illness. Everyone should know how to respond to heat emergencies, this can be learnt in first aid courses. 

If one of your family members or someone you assist is showing signs of hot dry skin and delirium, convulsions and/or unconsciousness, call a doctor/ambulance immediately.
Whilst you are waiting for help to arrive place them in a cool place in a horizontal position and elevate their legs. It is now important to initiate external cooling. 

This can be done by: 

  • Removing clothing
  • Placing cold packs on the neck and groin 
  • Spraying cool water on their skin 
  • Fanning them
  • If they are unconscious, place them on their side

If you or someone you are with is displaying mild signs of heat illness that is not considered an emergency, you might want to consider a same-day GP appointment. You can book an appointment online.

Don't forget this essential item on your next flight

11.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

Have you ever thought of applying sunscreen before taking a flight?

If not, you may want to reconsider.

A recent article in the Telegraph Travel with contribution from Fleet Street Clinic’s medical director, Dr Richard Dawood, has highlighted a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Dermatology. It reports that pilots flying for about 56 minutes at 30,000 feet were exposed to the same amount of carcinogenic UVA radiation as one would receive 20-minute session on a tanning bed.

The plane’s windshield blocked only about half of the UVA rays, dangerous enough to contribute to cancer risk.

However, applying this potential risk to all types of aircraft and to the cabin space outside the cockpit is “a bit speculative”, notes Dr Dawood. The aforementioned study was based on UV radiation measured from the cockpit of a Socata TBM850, a single turbo-prop private plane.

“Awareness of the issue is a good thing – especially for pilots; and for passengers, sensible use of window shades to avoid strong direct sunlight, which most people probably do anyway,”

– says Dr Richard Dawood.

For more travel advice, contact our expert travel team at Fleet Street Clinic – you can book an appointment online.

Dr Richard Dawood Headshot

 

Tips For A Healthy Long-Haul Flight

01.07.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

Planning a trip abroad?

Whether you’re travelling afar for business or pleasure, the long-haul travel involved can be a daunting prospect. But with a little preparation  you can enjoy a comfortable journey, and prevent the health risks associated with travel.

At Fleet Street Clinic, we regularly see frequent travellers for travel health-related consultations and vaccinations. Our travel experts have compiled some tips to ensure you are in great shape throughout your travels, starting with a healthy outbound flight:

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Travelling on long-haul flights with extended periods of immobility can leave you at an increased risk of DVT (blood clots), especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

To prevent DVT during your flight:

  • Wear loose comfortable clothes.
  • Keep moving during the flight – get up regularly to walk around the cabin to aid circulation.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water- drink at least one cup of water for every hour spent in the air.
  • Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks.
  • Wear compression socks which apply gentle pressure to the ankle to help with blood flow.

Dehydration

Air in the plane’s cabin is recirculated, which results in a loss of moisture. This can cause dry skin, lips, and eyes.

To prevent dehydration:

  • Contact lens wearers should remove lenses prior to travel and wear spectacles to avoid dry eyes and prevent damage to the cornea.
  • Dry skin should be moisturised, and if nasal irritation occurs, a saline spray can be used.
  • Keep hydrated – don’t be afraid to ask cabin staff for water outside of mealtimes.

Travel / Motion Sickness

Motion sickness occurs when there is confusion between what the eyes see, and what the inner ear senses. With turbulence, cramped spaces and lack of fresh air, susceptible travellers can suffer.

To minimise the risk of travel sickness:

  • Keep hydrated.
  • Avoid large meals prior to and during the flight.
  • Request a seat near the front wing – the most stable part of the plane.
  • Use preventative medication such as Cinnarizine (to be taken 2 hours prior to boarding the aircraft).

Jet Lag

Flying can leave you feeling sleep deprived and jet lagged.

To reduce avoidable risks and arrive at your destination in good shape, here’s how you can prevent or combat the effects:

  • Avoid night-time flights when possible – otherwise make sure you build a rest period into your schedule on arrival.
  • Give your body clock clues as to your new time zone – adjust your watch, observe local mealtimes and bedtimes.
  • Use melatonin and timed exposure to bright light – talk to your doctor or consult a specialist travel clinic about using medication to aid both sleeplessness and wakefulness.
  • Use our Jet Lag Calculator – whether you’re using timed exposure to bright light, melatonin, both or none of these methods, our calculator can calculate timings based on your exact travel details.

Book An Appointment

If you’re taking a long-haul flight and need travel vaccines or advice, you can book an appointment online to ensure a smooth transit to your destination.