Travel Tips Thursday - Philippines

19.11.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

The Philippines is a fascinating archipelago, made up of thousands of islands where you can explore stunning beaches and enjoy superb surfing and diving.

Ensure you follow our top travel tips to stay healthy.

7,641 islands,  of these islands, only 2,000 are inhabited.

The Philippine archipelago is divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Vaccinations

If you are heading to the Philippines you should ensure that you are up to date with your routine immunisations.  There have been outbreaks of measles and polio this year in the country so all travellers should ensure they have received 2 doses of the MMR vaccination and a full course of diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP) vaccinations.

In addition, it is advised that vaccinations against hepatitis and typhoid are given. Other vaccinations that can be considered are hepatitis b, rabies and Japanese encephalitis. Find out more about our wellness and travel vaccinations.

Rabies

Rabies is an especially high risk in the Philippines. It is a virus found in the saliva and bodily fluids of mammals. It is transmitted to humans by the bite, scratch or lick to open skin. Once the virus enters the body and the nervous system, it is fatal. There is a large number of stray animals in the Philippines so extra care should be taken to avoid contact with animals. Pre-travel rabies vaccinations are strongly recommended for travellers to the Philippines.   There have been reports of falsified rabies vaccinations and immunoglobulin circulating in the country meaning anyone exposed to the virus seeking medical treatment in-country may not receive the proper treatment.

Malaria

The majority of the Philippines is low to no risk of malaria.  Palawan, Tawi Tawi, Zambales and Zamboanga del Norte present a higher risk of malaria. Most travellers will not require anti-malarial medication providing they are careful not to get bitten by mosquitoes. The malaria mosquitoes are most active during the evening, so if you plan to visit a high-risk area, ensure you are cautious between the hours of dusk and dawn and aim to sleep under a mosquito net to prevent bites whilst you sleep.

Insects

The Philippines has a risk of several non-vaccine preventable viruses that can be spread by mosquitoes. Dengue fever, chikungunya and zika virus are the main culprits. These viruses are spread by mosquitoes that predominantly bite in the day. As there is no vaccination nor medication that will prevent this illness, strict precautions must be taken to prevent their bites. Wear long loose clothing and cover up as much as possible, particularly between dawn and dusk. Wear a good insect repellent with a minimum of 50% DEET in it, and treat clothes with the insecticide permethrin for added protection.

The Philippines Department of Health (DoH) declared a national dengue epidemic on 6 August 2019. Continue to follow NaTHNaC advice and take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes

See our ultimate bug kit.

Water sports

The Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands and the main way of reaching them is by boat.  If you are prone to travel sickness you may want to ensure you pack some medication to prevent this so not to interrupt your experience.  There is an abundance of pristine coral reefs throughout the archipelago making the country perfect for water sports.  Whether you are snorkelling, surfing or scuba diving, if you plan to take the plunge you need to be careful to avoid coral cuts and abrasions. Extra care needs to be taken with coral cuts to prevent them from becoming infected. Packing a small first aid kit with tweezers, waterproof dressings and antiseptic is a sensible idea.

The availability of medical care varies across the Philippines, and may not meet the standards of care in the UK. Although adequate in major cities, medical care is limited in more remote areas.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | November 2019

Travel Tips Thursday - Albania

19.09.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Albania, located in Southeastern Europe, is a tourist haven this time of year.

Albania has much to offer, from stunning mountain scenes to crumbling castles to picture-perfect beaches all with easy-going charm and a friendly atmosphere. Right now the tales of its beauty haven’t quite reached the masses, but we have a feeling this is likely to change in the not too distant future.

If you plan on staying in Albania‘s capital, Tirana, be sure to see the rotating restaurant/ bars for spectacular city views.  Or take to the countryside and seashores to take in the ubiquitous sight of the abandoned concrete bunkers of Albania. Fearing invasion during the Cold War, Albania’s leader Enver Hoxha forced his country to build tens of thousands of bunkers throughout the country. These days you’ll see most in a state of slow decay but some have been given a new lease of life as a hotel, home or museum.

Visit Berat, to see the ‘town of a thousand windows’. This fascinating city dates back to the Ottoman Empire. The most striking feature of Ottoman architecture is the collection of whitewashed houses and towering minarets which adorn the hill to its castle. It is easily a highlight of visiting Albania. If, however, you prefer the great outdoors scale the peaks and troughs of the Accursed Mountains and take in the captivating castles of Gjirokastra.

Whatever your plan to do, be sure to follow our top travel tips to stay healthy in Albania.

Routine Vaccinations

All travellers to Albania are advised to be in-date with their routine immunisations. These include diphtheria-tetanus and polio and measles, mumps and rubella. Europe has seen huge outbreaks of measles in recent years. Therefore, all travellers should make sure they have received at least two doses of the vaccination, MMR.

If you’re unsure of your immunity, you can have a simple blood test to find out. Some travellers may wish to consider vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, Rabies, and Tick-Borne Encephalitis. It is best to book a pre-travel consultation with a travel nurse to discuss your holiday plans. Together you can discuss what vaccines you’ll need.

Trekking and Ticks

The dramatic peaks of the Accursed Mountains spread their spoil between Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro. Those who plan to take advantage of the great outdoors should strongly consider vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). TBE is a bacterial infection spread via tick bites or the consumption of unpasteurised dairy produce (between spring to autumn). Contracting the illness causes a fever with neurological complications.  

TBE is vaccine-preventable and consists of 2 doses of the vaccination being given at least 2 weeks apart.  A third dose is given 5-12 months later to give longer-term protection. Travellers should also avoid ticks by wearing long trousers and socks, and using DEET insect repellant. If you spot a tick on you, it needs to be removed promptly with some flat tweezers or a tick remover and cleaned with alcohol to reduce the risk of infection.

Rabies

Rabies is a fatal virus found in the saliva of infected mammals. Travellers can be exposed to it through a bite, scratch or a lick to an open area of skin.  Therefore, you should avoid contact with animals, especially wild and stray animals. The vaccination against rabies means that treatment can be given easily and in the country should a risk of rabies occur.

You will require a series of 3 vaccinations to be given over a 3 week period. Or over 1 week if a rapid course is needed. Travellers at greater risk are those who plan to do outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, cycling or caving.

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

First Aid Kit

For those trekking in the hills, packing good basic first aid kit is essential. The availability of health care and first aid supplies are very limited in rural areas, particularly outside Tirana. Therefore, you should make sure you bring your own adequate basic provisions. These include pain relief, plasters and medication to treat an upset stomach, such as loperamide and oral rehydration salts. Cuts, scapes blisters and even a twisted ankle can occur, so take blister pads, some waterproof dressings and a bandage to deal with any minor injuries whilst you are there.

Access to safe water may be limited. You should consider packing chlorine dioxide tablets to purify your own water. Alternatively, you can purchase a water-to-go bottle which has a built-in filter. If you take regular prescription medication, be sure you pack enough to last your entire journey. And, remember to carry the prescription with you just in case.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | September 2019

Travel Tips Thursday - Bosnia

19.08.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Bosnia is where East meets West.

It is a country on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe and has become somewhat a destination for adventurous travellers.

Beautiful Ottoman architecture, rugged mountains, captivating castles, raft-able rivers, and humble hiking trails are all reasons why travellers are choosing Bosnia as their next travel destination. The unveiling of the Via Dinarica mega hiking trail means the number of tourists to the Balkan country of Bosnia Hercegovina is expected to rise steeply. The 1930km trail provides a corridor linking traditional cultures between the former Yugoslavian nations. So whether you plan to mill about the city of Mostar, stroll the streets of Sarajevo, or take a hike in the hillside, ensure you follow our top travel tips to stay healthy.

Vaccinations

All travellers are advised to be in date with their routine immunisations, including diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP) and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Europe has seen huge outbreaks of measles this year alone, so all travellers should make sure they have received at least two doses of the measles-containing vaccination. A simple blood test can be done for all those who are unsure about their immunity. Some travellers may wish to consider vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. The activities you plan to do whilst travelling will determine which vaccines would be required. If you have any doubts or concerns, we also suggest booking a pre-travel consultation with a specialist travel nurse to discuss your options.

Find out more about our travel and wellness vaccinations.

Trekking and Ticks

Bosnia offers a wealth of outdoor activities. Those who plan to take advantage of the great outdoors should strongly consider vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). TBE is a bacterial infection. Usually, it is spread through an infected tick bite. However, during Spring to Autumn, the consumption of unpasteurised dairy produce also carries a risk. Contracting the illness causes a fever with neurological complications.  It is vaccine-preventable. Protection requires  2 doses of the vaccination, given at least 2-weeks apart.  A third dose is given 5-12 months later to give longterm protection. You should also avoid ticks by wearing long trousers and socks. Using DEET insect repellant should also repel them.

If you spot a tick on you, it needs to be removed promptly. Use some flat tweezers or a tick remover and clean the bite with alcohol to reduce the risk of infection.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

Rabies

Rabies is a fatal virus that can be found in the saliva of an infected mammal. Most commonly a wild dog. Exposure can happen through a bite, scratch or a lick to an open area of the skin. You cannot catch rabies from another person and it cannot spread through unbroken skin. You should, where possible avoid contact with animals when travelling, especially wild or stay animals.

Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear, but treatment before this is very effective. Pre-travel rabies vaccination offers great protection. And means that in the unlikely event you come into contact with the rabies virus, fast and effective treatment can be given easily and in the country of the incident.

Pre-travel rabies protection requires a series of 3 vaccinations given as injections into your upper arm. Your vaccines will be given over a 3-week period, or over 1 week if an accelerated course is needed, prior to travel. Travellers at greater risk are those who plan to do outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, cycling or caving. You should consider a rabies vaccine if you plan to do any of these activities whilst visiting Bosnia.

First Aid Kit

For those trekking in the hills, packing good basic first aid kit is essential. When travelling in rural areas, access to healthcare can be limited. Travelling with a medical kit will give you access to basic provisions needed to treat minor injuries and pains.

Basic provisions include pain relief, plasters and medication to treat an upset stomach, such as loperamide and oral rehydration salts. If access to safe water may be limited, consider packing chlorine dioxide tablets. Cuts, scapes blisters and even a twisted ankle can occur, so take blister pads, some waterproof dressings and a bandage to deal with any minor injuries whilst you are there. If you take regular prescription medication, ensure you pack enough for the duration of your trip and carry the prescription with you.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | August 2019

Do you need a Rabies Vaccine for your next trip?

19.05.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

The risk of rabies is still widely unknown to the general public.

If caught and symptoms develop, rabies is almost invariably fatal.

Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal and is present in over 150 countries worldwide. Up to 100 children die each day from rabies, and more than 55,000 people a year are killed from the disease, mainly in Asia and Africa.

If bitten or scratched by an infected animal you need to act quickly. Even with pre-travel vaccinations, a course of post-exposure vaccinations are required to prevent disease. If you haven’t had pre-travel vaccinations, the treatment is much more intense. If treatment is given correctly and promptly after exposure, then rabies can be cured but once symptoms develop, it is too late.

Some countries are deemed high-risk of rabies.

Considering this, it’s alarming when we experience resistance from travellers who feel this vaccination isn’t necessary for travel, especially if they are visiting a high risk location.

We feel so passionately that if you are travelling somewhere with a known risks of rabies it only seems sensible to protect yourself against it. Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease, so make sure you get vaccinated before you travel.

For more information on rabies and travel health, visit our rabies page here.

The Fleet Street Clinic is passionate about travel. We have provided rabies vaccinations for over 20 years. Our team of expert travel medical professionals provide advice and detailed consultations to ensure you have a healthy trip.

You can book a travel consultation or rabies vaccination appointment online.

Travel Tips Thursday - Jordan

19.03.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

An Arab nation on the east bank of the Jordan River, Jordan is one of the safest countries to visit in the Middle East. Awash with biblical heritage, ancient sites and large swathes of desert; it is a natural wonder with historical sights to tempt any traveller.

The daytime temperature rarely drops below the high teens, and flight time is less than 5 hours from the UK. Whether you are ambling in Amman, wandering the Wadi’s,  dipping in the Dead sea or plodding around Petra, be sure to follow our top travel tips to stay healthy.

Vaccinations

All travellers should ensure they are up to date with their routine vaccinations. Vaccinations include diphtheria, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Hepatitis B and rabies can be considered for those at risk (speak to a travel nurse prior to departing).

Rabies

Rabies is a fatal virus spread through the bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal, most commonly a cat, a dog or a bat. The risk is greatest when the animal pierces the skin and/ or makes contact with an open wound. There are many ‘high risk’ countries, in Jordan, dogs, cats and bats are the biggest culprits and the risk of these animals carrying the disease is high. Once the rabies virus enters the nervous system there is no treatment and it is fatal. Travellers can reduce the risk of rabies by receiving pre-travel vaccinations against the disease. This doesn’t exempt the traveller from treatment if they have been exposed, but simplifies the process and provides the best outcome. Rabies treatment is scarce and can be very difficult to source in some countries, so having pre-travel immunisations puts you in the best possible position should something happen. Those who are trekking, camping or going off the grid to places like Wadi Rum are at highest risk of the disease.

Food and Water

Jordanian cuisine is delicious, but ensure you avoid the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea by following some sensible precautions. Ensure you are up-to-date with Hepatitis A vaccination as this viral illness are spread through contaminated food and water. Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the toilet and before eating. Ensure water is either boiled or bottled with a good, unbroken seal. Do not drink tap water or brushing your teeth with it and avoid ice. Ensure all food you eat is served piping hot and straight to you.

All that bites

Take precautions against sand fly bites that are ubiquitous in Jordan. Aside from producing a painful bite, they can also carry a parasite responsible for Leishmaniasis. Sand flies tend to feed at night and fly close to the ground. Prevent them from feeding on you by covering up, especially between dusk and dawn. Wear long trousers and socks to prevent bites around your ankles as they are flow flyers. Wear good insect repellant with a minimum of 50% DEET. Sleep under a mosquito net, especially if you are camping or hiking in the more rural areas of Jordan.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

From red to dead…

From the riches of the coral in the red sea to the abyss of the dead sea, take sensible precautions when taking the plunge. The dead sea lies 413m below sea level and is actually rather tricky to swim in. Tourist usually come to float on its surface as the high salt content makes it hard to submerge. Be careful. Cover any cuts you have with waterproof plasters to avoid a sharp sting. Do not splash when in the water, as it may cause injury or irritation to your eye if it enters. If you wear contact lenses, it’s best to swap to your glasses.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | March 2019

Rabies Vaccination

14.11.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Public Health England has issued a health warning aimed at travellers highlighting the risk of rabies.
Following the recent news whereby a UK resident sadly died after becoming infected with rabies following a cat bite during a visit to Morocco, there is need to remind travellers of the dangers of viral infections when outside of the UK.

Rabies is a virus infection of the brain which is usually transmitted from contact with an infected animal, through injuries such as bites and scratches.
Dogs are the main source of infection in most parts of the world, although almost any mammal can become infected.
Although not a concern in the UK, PHE highlights the dangers of animals whilst travelling:

‘Rabies is common in other parts of the world, especially in Asia and Africa. All travellers to rabies-affected countries should avoid contact with dogs, cats and other animals wherever possible, and seek advice about the need for rabies vaccine prior to travel.’

When visiting countries with rabies endemic it is best to avoid contact with animals especially stray or wild animals.

About Rabies

People are usually infected following a deep bite or scratch from an animal with rabies, and transmission to humans by rabid dogs accounts for 99% of cases.

The virus cannot infiltrate intact skin.

Initial symptoms of rabies include a fever with pain and unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking, or burning sensation (paraesthesia) at the wound site. As the virus spreads to the central nervous system, progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develops.
What to do if bitten?

If a traveller has been bitten or licked, they should immediately wash the wound with soap and water as soon as they can. That will inactivate and wash out a lot of the virus (if there is virus present), and urgently seek medical care.

Once symptoms have developed, left untreated rabies is almost always fatal. Rabies is a 100% vaccine-preventable disease.

Rabies Vaccination

You should consider getting vaccinated against rabies if you are travelling to a country which is considered high-risk especially if you’re planning on travelling to more remote locations.

Pre-Exposure Vaccine

Rabies vaccination requires a course of 3 vaccinations for complete protection. Depending on how much time you have prior to travelling would determine which course of treatment is suitable for you.

Alternatively, those with time constraints can opt for the accelerated rabies vaccination course.
The accelerated option can be provided over 7 days; giving full protection within a week.

This option is suitable for spontaneous travellers and last-minute business trips to countries affected by rabies.

Post-Exposure Vaccine

All travellers who think they have been exposed to the rabies virus should urgently seek medical care and post-exposure vaccinations.

  • If you’ve had your immunisations, you will require two doses of rabies vaccination, 3 days apart.
  • If you are exposed to rabies and have not been vaccinated, a more intensive treatment of 5 vaccinations over a 30-day period, plus an injection of immunoglobulin is required.

Overall travellers should take precautions when travelling to countries where rabies is present.

Book Your Rabies Vaccine Online

Rabies: The Facts by The World Health Organisation
For more information on the risk of rabies in different countries, see the country information pages on the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s (NaTHNaC’s) website, TravelHealthPro.

Do you need a Rabies Vaccine for your next trip?

Read more

10 Vaccinations you should know about

20.09.2018 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

Some viruses thrive in the winter and are easily spread during cold weather. The lack of sunlight also means there is less Vitamin D in your body during winter, which can lower your immune system. This makes it harder for the body to fight off infections, resulting in a higher chance of sickness, even amongst the healthy.

If you’re planning on avoiding the flu this year, going on holiday, starting University, having a child or just living a healthy lifestyle in general, then there are a number of extremely important vaccines you should know about.

1. Flu Vaccine:

Now is the perfect time to have your flu jab, to ensure protection for the entire winter.  Our adult flu vaccines are already in stock including Quadrivalent, FluAd and egg-free. Due to distribution delays, needle-free Quadrivalent vaccines for kids will be arriving soon.
– Find out more about the Flu Vaccine

2. MMR – Measles, Mumps and Rubella:

Many people who are now adults have never been vaccinated against measles, mumps or rubella, either from concerns over misinformation during the 1990s or because they simply missed out on getting protected.  As a result, there has been an alarming rise in cases and outbreaks, with several deaths. Unfortunately, this year the UK also lost its ‘Measles Free’ status. Two doses are needed for protection, and it is never too late to be vaccinated!
– Find out more about the MMR Vaccine

3. Chickenpox:

There’s no need for any child to go through the misery of the chickenpox. It is entirely preventable with a vaccine that is still not yet available on the NHS, Varicella. This vaccine can be given to children over the age of one year. 2 doses are recommended for full protection.
– Find out more about the Chickenpox Vaccine

4. Shingles:

Shingles is a horrible reactivation of the chickenpox virus in adults who have had chickenpox during childhood. It consists of a painful, blistering rash. The pain can linger for months or years but it is also preventable. Shingrix is a relatively new vaccine which provides the best protection against Shingles. It offers up to 90% immunity. Supplies worldwide are limited but The Fleet Street Clinic is one of the first medical practices in the UK to make it consistently available.
– Find out more about the Shingles Vaccine, Shingrix

5. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Vaccine:

HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer but also causes other genital, head & neck cancers. The national programme offers all 12- and 13-year-olds in school the Gardasil HPV vaccine. HPV-4 protects against 4 types of HPV. There is no “catch-up” programme for older children and adolescents.
At Fleet Street Clinic, we offer Gardasil 9. It offers greater protection against 5 additional types of HPV. In our opinion, if you have not received the HPV vaccine yet, you are better to get the HPV- Gardasil 9 vaccine to benefit from the extra protection it offers.
– Find out more about the HPV Vaccine, Gardasil 9

6. Whooping Cough:

Childhood vaccination does not give lifelong protection, and newborns are especially vulnerable. Vaccination is recommended during pregnancy, and may also be advisable if you have a close family member who is pregnant, or if you’re likely to be in close contact with their newborn baby.
– Find out more about Whooping Cough

7. Meningitis:

We offer Meningitis ACWY and Meningitis B vaccines. This vaccine is recommended to all those who fall outside the age groups currently targeted by the NHS or have an important deadline for protection.
– Find out more about Meningitis ACWY and Meningitis B vaccines

8. Hepatitis B:

Hepatitis B is spread by blood and body fluids. In most other developed countries, it has been a standard part of the childhood vaccination schedule for many years, but in the UK it has only just been added to the schedule at birth and infancy. There is no “catch-up” programme for older children and adolescents. We strongly believe this vaccine should be offered more widely – all young, sexually active adults ought to be protected.
– Find out more about Hepatitis B

9. Pneumonia:

We strongly recommend the Prevenar pneumonia vaccine for those aged 65 and over. Pneumonia can affect people of any age, but it’s more common and can be more serious, in certain groups of people, such as the very young or the elderly. Anyone with a past history of pneumonia, asthma or lung disease should also consider this vaccine. Anyone can get a pneumococcal infection, but not everyone is offered the pneumococcal vaccine on the NHS. Prevenar pneumonia vaccine protects against 13 of the most common strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.
– Find out more about the Pneumonia Vaccine

10. Rabies:

At the Fleet Street Clinic, we are well known for offering the full range of travel vaccines, always in stock. But if I had to pick just one vaccine I would never want to be without, it would be rabies. Protection is cheap, easy, safe and long-lasting – but expensive and hard to find if you are ever unlucky enough to be bitten abroad. I was once attacked by a dog in a remote part of Peru, and have had to look after dozens of travellers who have been in similar situations.
– Find out more about the Rabies Vaccine

Get in touch…

If you would like more information or require any of these vaccinations, please give us a call to arrange an appointment or book your appointment online today

Travel Tips Thursday: Madagascar

19.08.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Madagascar

Madagascar is a large country off the south east coast of Africa. It is well known for its rainforests, hiking and diving, beaches and reefs.

Make sure you are aware of what you need, such as visas, vaccines and other medical requirements.

Check your flight route

You may need a Yellow Fever certificate. Whilst most flights involve a change of plane in Paris, some flights route via Nairobi, Kenya. If you have a long lay over in Nairobi you will be required to provide on entry to Madagasgar, a valid Yellow Fever certificate.

Don’t risk rabies

Rabies is a virus found in mammals and is fatal if not treated promptly. Treating rabies can be difficult in Madagascar, but is made much simpler for those who receive rabies vaccinations prior to travel. If the focus of your trip is the mammals of Madagascar, rabies vaccinations pre-trip is strongly recommended.

Banish the bites

Make sure you wear plenty of insect repellent whilst away as Madagascar has several diseases that can be spread via the bite of a mosquito or fly. Insect repellent should contain at least 50% DEET. Anti-malarial medication is always advised for Madagascar. Protect yourself from mosquitos with our Ultimate Bug Kits.

Travel with Insurance

Ensure you take out comprehensive travel insurance before you go to Madagascar, and ensure that it covers you any activities you may have planned (such as scuba diving).

FLEET STREET TRAVEL CLINIC

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | August 2018

4 Illnesses To Watch For in Europe

19.05.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Health Risks of European Travel

How many of us know that European travel can pose a threat to our health?  Health risks aren’t normally associated with European travel – we think of quick flights and familiar cultures so assume we’ll be relatively safe on short-haul holidays. However, there are actually several diseases to watch out for, especially if you are not vaccinated.

Stay aware of these key diseases so that you can prepare properly to have a safe and happy holiday.

Four illnesses to be aware of when holidaying in Europe:

1. Measles

  • Measles continues to spread within and throughout Europe this year. Large outbreaks of the disease have occurred, and it is thought that the drop in vaccination coverage within populations is responsible. Countries that are currently reporting outbreaks of measles include: AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, FRANCE, GERMANY, HUNGARY, ICELAND, ITALY, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA SPAIN, SWEDEN.
  • Measles is a highly contagious virus which can have life-threatening complications.
  • International travel has played a large factor in the international spread of measles.

2. Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE)

  • TBE season has begun in Europe this summer. TBE is a viral infection spread through the infected bite of a tick.
  • TBE effects areas of northern and Eastern Europe, Russia and even China.
  • Those at highest risk of the diseases are those that intend to spend time in rural forested areas during spring summer and autumn where ticks are present. Activities such as camping and hiking and cycling increase the risk.
  • Those who are travelling to areas of transmission can minimise the risk of the disease by taking strict precautions against tick bites.

3. Hepatitis A

  • Europe has seen an increase in Hepatitis A cases this year. The virus is spread through contaminated food and water.
  • The highest risk countries are those in Eastern Europe, the Baltics, the Balkans and Turkey, but in recent months Germany and Portugal have seen an increase in cases.

4. Rabies

  • Rabies is virus-spread through the bite of an infected mammal. The virus is almost always fatal if left untreated. Animals that can spread this disease include dogs, cats, bats, foxes and wolves.
  • Eastern Europe poses the highest risk of rabies in Europe.
  • Travellers at highest risk include those who plan on travelling to remote areas.

Vaccines can prevent travel-related illnesses

The good news is that all these diseases are vaccine preventable and can be avoided by organising vaccines before you travel.

Measles – All travellers should ensure that they have had at least 2 doses of vaccinations against measles. This is usually given as a routine vaccination in childhood (MMR vaccine) at 1 year of age, and then again as a pre-school booster

Tick-Borne Encephalitisvaccination against the disease is available for individuals aged 1 year and above. It requires 2 vaccination 2 weeks apart.

Hepatitis A – A highly effective vaccination is available against Hepatitis A and can be given to children from 1 year of age. Once the schedule of 2 Hepatitis A vaccinations has been given, immunity lasts for 25 years.

Rabies – a vaccine-preventable disease which requires three doses of vaccination to be given prior to departure. Those who have not received the vaccination with potential exposure to rabies require more extensive treatment which is not always accessible.

Travel Vaccinations at Fleet Street Clinic

Fleet Street Clinic is a leading vaccination centre and offers all travel vaccinations at our clinic in the heart of London.

Book your appointment online today.

By Anna Chapman, Travel Nurse at Fleet Street Clinic