Travel Advice: Travelling with Children

06.07.2022 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Travelling with children can be an enlightening and wonderful experience for the family – creating memories and opening their minds to other cultures and ways of life. But on the flip side it also can be quite daunting, especially if this is your first time travelling with children. The best way to establish a safe travel experience abroad is to take early precautions.

Before Your Travels

When it comes to travelling with children, careful planning and preparation should be considered. It is highly advised to have a travel consultation well in advance of your travels. The travel nurse will make you aware of any travel risks and take into consideration your child’s current wellbeing. Depending on where you are travelling, your child may require certain vaccinations. 

These preventative measures will safeguard your child from any diseases or illness. 

Your may be advised the following vaccinations: 

  • Rabies
  • Yellow Fever
    –  Some countries require this as a condition of entry and will ask for proof of vaccination when you arrive into the country.
  • Hepatitis A 
  • Typhoid 
  • Tick-borne Encephalitis 
  • Japanese Encephalitis 
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningitis ACWY
  • Cholera

All vaccinations require a duration of time following vaccination to reach full protection, usually 10 – 14 days, so factor this time in before your travels. In addition, some vaccinations require a multi-course dose before they are considered effective, such as rabies which requires 3 vaccinations to be considered a complete course. Book a travel consultation early to ensure you have enough time before you travel.

In addition to travel vaccinations it is worth discussing any upcoming childhood vaccinations that could be beneficial to have at the same time so your child is protected against any other common diseases that aren’t necessarily associated with just travel.

If you intend to go to countries with a high malaria risk it is important to discuss antimalarial protection  during your travel consultation. Malaria can be fatal and there is a higher risk for children. Antimalarials (malaria tablets) are generally taken for a duration before, during  and after your trip  and need to be purchased in advance of your travels. There are a number of different types and are suitable for different people so it is important to discuss your options with a travel health expert. The tablets work by ensuring the malaria parasite doesn’t reach unmanageable numbers, keeping you healthy whilst you travel. 

Travelling abroad can be exhausting, especially for young children. Jet Lag is known to cause temporary sleep disturbance, which can have an impact on your mental health and other bodily functions. To prepare ahead, The Jet Lag Calculator can tell you how long it will take the body to adjust to your new time zone when you travel – and to adjust back again when you come home.

To undergo a Pre-Travel Consultation, book online or for more information on Travel Health Services.

 

During Your Travels

Travelling can sometimes result in unexpected situations. For the protection of your child/ren and your family in general, always carry a First Aid Kit. This will reduce your need to seek medical aid for minor accidents or journeys to a chemist, especially if local towns are at a further distance.

When travelling to warmer climates, sun safety is crucial as young children are more vulnerable to sunburn from outdoor activities. To protect the skin apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30, with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection throughout the day. In addition, hot weather can also pose a risk of dehydration and heat stroke. Ensure you and your child are hydrated throughout the day by drinking  water from a safe source. This can be bottled water, boiled water, or water that has been filtered. 

To further avoid traveller’s diarrhoea:

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating
  • Carry an alcohol-based sanitiser 
  • Keep children from crawling or sitting on the ground
  • Avoid swimming in contaminated water
  • Don’t swallow any shower or pool water
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables only if washed in clean water or peeled 
  • Stick to foods that are well cooked and served hot
  • Stick to canned or bottled beverages
  • Avoid food that has been sitting on a buffet to avoid contamination

We have launched a new, free online consultation for Travellers’ Diarrhoea – by answering a few simple medical questions about yourself, we can check if antibiotics are recommended for your trip. You can pay online and we’ll dispatch them directly to you if you are suitable. 

Alternatively, you can have a more comprehensive travel consultation in-clinic with one of our experienced travel nurses. 

For more information on the prevention and treatment of Travellers’ Diarrhoea.

 

The feeling of discomfort from bug bites can truly be a nightmare whilst travelling. Insect bites such as mosquitoes, ticks, biting fleas and kissing bugs can cause pain, irritation and even spread diseases. However, they can be avoided through protective clothing. Our Ultimate Bug Kit  has everything you need from repellents to aftercare. Alternatively, you could purchase individual items and create your own kit.

 

After Your Travels 

Travelling can expose your child to certain diseases. If your child falls unexpectedly ill – contact your doctor or emergency services right away. A high temperature/ fever could mean an infection. For most people, travellers’ diarrhoea usually clears up within a few days. However, if your stomach bug has been ongoing for weeks after returning home, then you will need to do testing to investigate the root cause. Viruses, bacteria or parasites all cause similar symptoms but require an entirely different treatment approach. Our Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel PCR test looks for any microbes that are causing your symptoms and can quickly identify the exact cause of your Travellers’ Diarrhoea. Results can be provided in as little as 1-hour, so that accurate and effective treatment can begin straight away.

 

 

Travel Advice: US ends Covid Testing for International Travellers

15.06.2022 Category: News Author: Dr Richard Dawood

From Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 12:01AM ET all COVID-19 testing entry requirements for international travellers to the United Stated were rescinded. 

Arrivals no longer need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or documentation of recovery prior to boarding a flight to the U.S nor upon arrival. 

The Centre For Disease Control (CDC) has reached the decision based on the high vaccine uptake and widespread population immunity. 

In the statement they released, they explain; “The COVID-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase, due to the widespread uptake of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States. Each of these measures has contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the United States. As a result, this requirement which was needed at an earlier stage in the pandemic may be withdrawn.” 

Most countries, including the UK, have already abandoned testing requirements in a bid to return international travel to pre-Covid levels and it seems the CQC have decided it is now time for the U.S to do the same.

Does this mean that the COVID-19 pandemic has ended? 

No, but it does signify a shift in the pandemic. As we see a worldwide reduction in covid cases and death rates, the CDC statement clarifies that whilst testing may not be necessary right now, they will continue to monitor the data and adapt accordingly. 

They state; “CDC continues to evaluate the latest science and state of the pandemic and will reassess the need for a testing requirement if the situation changes”.

What about covid vaccinations…
Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to the U.S? 

Yes, foreign travellers from outside of the U.S are required to be double vaccinated from COVID-19 to enter the country. But for people under the age of 18, U.S citizens/ nationals or lawful permanent residents will be exempt from vaccination requirements. Currently, the Covid Booster vaccination is not a requirement and there is no set expiry date on the first dose of vaccination. 

Overall, the easing of the US Covid restrictions is welcome news to the travel and tourism industry and demonstrates the possibility of international travel returning back to its pre-covid levels. 

However, the absence of masks, vaccines, or travel mandates does not mean that the risk of catching Covid-19 has gone away.
We strongly recommend:

  • Having comprehensive travel health insurance for all travel to the USA – hospital care should you require treatment for Covid is very costly.
  • Wearing a high filtration (N95 or FFP3) mask during your journey
  • Practising all the usual hygiene recommendations during your journey (e.g. hand sanitisers, distancing where possible
  • Having an early test and avoiding travel if you have even minor symptoms.

 

For more information on the covid testing services available at Fleet Street Clinic.

Hajj and Umrah: Travel Health

10.06.2022 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

Hajj and Umrah are religious pilgrimages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Hajj is a mandatory Pilgrimage for every Muslim to take once in their lifetime, given that the individual is physically and financially able.

It takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar and is taken annually by 2.5 million Muslims worldwide pre-pandemic. Whereas, Umrah is a shorter pilgrimage to Mecca taken any time of the year. 

Muslims from all over the world gather annually in Mecca in a display of unity, faith and solidarity. Due to the large number of participants performing the pilgrimage there are some health risks you should be aware of.

There are also health requirements set by the Health Ministry of Saudi Arabia that you could affect your VISA, it is good to be aware of those requirements before travelling. 

COVID-19 Requirements:

It’s been announced that the Saudi Ministry will allow up to 1 million Muslims to participate in Hajj 1443H/2022. British citizens wishing to perform Umrah or Hajj are required to be: 

  • Under the age of 65 and received COVID-19 vaccinations which has been approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health
  • Travellers from outside of Saudi Arabia must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before their departure to Saudi Arabia. 

Whilst Covid-19 vaccinations are not available privately, Covid-19 PCR travel tests are. We believe in access to rapid PCR testing to remove the worry of waiting for your results. We guarantee all our turnaround times – with our fastest being 90 minutes. For more information and pricing: Covid PCR travel tests at Fleet Street Clinic

 

Vaccine Requirements:

A pre-travel consultation should be scheduled at least 6 to 8 weeks before your trip.
Any mandatory or advised vaccinations will be discussed with a nurse. Initial doses can be given during this initial appointment and you can pre-book any required follow up doses in the lead up to Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage.

Before travelling to Hajj or Umrah, it is highly recommended that pilgrims be up-to-date in all their wellness vaccinations.

– Meningitis

All British citizens travellers performing Umrah or Hajj are required to submit a valid Meningitis ACWY vaccination certificate in order to obtain a visa.  The MenACWY vaccine protects against meningitis (strains A, C, W & Y) and sepsis. Adults and children over the age of 2 are required to have the vaccine and provide evidence of immunisation no less than 10 days before you plan to arrive in Saudi Arabia. This requirement also applies to seasonal workers in Hajj areas.
You may also want to consider Meningitis B vaccine – this is not a mandatory VISA requirement.

If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.

Flu Vaccine

Since both Hajj and Umrah both pose crowded conditions and close contact, seasonal flu vaccination is advised, especially for those who are more vulnerable to severe influenza diseases. This precautionary measure will help reduce the potential spread of the flu.

If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.

Hepatitis B

Hep B is spread by contaminated blood and bodily fluid. Pilgrims who intend to shave their heads as one of the rites of Hajj should consider taking the vaccination. Although licensed barbers performing head shaving are obliged to use a new blade for each pilgrim, unlicensed barbers may not adhere to this practice. Vaccinations require 3 injections to be given over a 3 week period and can be given from birth. 

If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.

Rabies

Rabies is  spread through the bite of an infected animal such as cats, dogs, monkeys and bats. Saudi Arabia is classified as a high-risk country for rabies. Full protection is achieved with 3 doses – 2 vaccinations usually given over a 3 week period, however, we do offer a rapid course which can achieve full protection in 7-days.  The rabies vaccine can be given from birth.

If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.


TRAVELLERS DIARRHOEA

Travellers’ diarrhoea can occur in up to 60% of travellers. Eating contaminated food or water are the usual culprits. Although most cases are mild, taking sensible precautions with food and water can reduce the risk. Carrying medicines for self-treatments is useful such as antibiotics – take our Online Travellers’ Diarrhoea Consultation to see if it is suitable for us to prescribe you standby Travellers’ Diarrhoea treatment.

The best protection are preventative measures such as  drinking bottled or purified water, washing your hands thoroughly and frequently and eating well-cooked, hot food.

Fore more information on Travellers’ Diarrhoea.


CLIMATE HEALTH

Saudi Arabia has had some of the hottest temperatures on record this year. Exposure to such high temperatures increases sweating, and results in loss of fluid and electrolytes which can cause rapid dehydration. This can result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke which can be life threatening if not dealt with promptly. 

Heat related illness can be avoided by the following:

  • Seek shelter and shade during the middle of the day (11am-3pm) when temperatures are the hottest
  • If you are outside, ensure you protect your sin against the sun with high factor sun cream
  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight and light colour clothing 
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and eating food with high water content (such as fruit)
  • Ensure you are taking sufficient salt in your diet (sweating leads to electrolyte and salt depletion)
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen heat related illnesses


GENERAL HEALTH:

Both Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages require strenuous effort, it is worth considering having a full body medical check up before you travel to ensure you are in good health. To prepare for the miles of walking, try increasing your physical activities to improve mobility and movement. In case of unforeseen circumstances, remember too pack a first aid kit and extra supplies of any prescribed medication you are currently taking. We have an onsite pharmacy if you’d like to purchase any of these items during your appointment, speak with your GP or nurse whilst at the clinic.

 

Delaying your period:

If you decide you would like to delay your period for pilgrimage, you can do so by taking hormonal medication. In advance of your trip, book an appointment with a GP to discuss your options as soon as possible.

 

When you get home:

If you return home unwell it is important to book an appointment with a GP to determine the cause. If your symptoms worsen or becoming life-threatening do not wait to see a doctor, go straight to A&E for urgent medical care.

If you return with a stomach bug or persistent travellers’ diarrhoea, you may want to consider booking a Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel PCR test – it looks for any microbes (bacteria, viruses & parasites) that may be causing your symptoms and can quickly identify the exact cause. Results can be provided in as little as 1-hour, so that accurate and effective treatment can begin straight away. Firstly, you need to book a GP appointment, express your interest in a GI PCR test and they will advise whether you are suitable or not.

 

Travelling for Chinese New Year?

01.02.2022 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Chinese New Year is a festival celebrated annually by Chinese communities across the world to bring good luck and prosperity into the New Year. Every year corresponds with one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac, with 2022 being the Year of the Tiger. Celebrations for Chinese New Year kick off on the 1st Feb, continuing until the 15th February where the festivities culminate with the Chinese Lantern Festival. Every year, thousands of people travel to China to enjoy the celebrations. So, if you are one of those people who are planning to travel to China to join in with the festivities, please ensure you follow these tips to stay healthy whilst abroad.

Firstly, you may want to check the entry requirements for China in terms of required covid-19 testing. Recently the Chinese Embassy in the UK announced a temporary suspension of entry into China by non-Chinese nationals in the UK holding Chinese visas or residence permits valid at the time of the announcement. If you are unaffected by these restrictions and still travelling to China you can view what covid-19 testing entry rules are currently in place here: GOV.UK WEBSITE. You can find more information on our rt-PCR Testing service here and our Lateral Flow Testing here.

Covid aside, check your vaccination history. All travellers need to ensure they are up-to-date with their childhood vaccines, most importantly, Hepatitis A, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP).
More information on our wellness vaccinations can be found here.

It is worth noting that it is still influenza season in the northern hemisphere and transmission can occur well into spring. Those travellers who haven’t received their annual flu vaccination to protect them against the most common strains for 2021-22, should ensure they receive it before travelling to China. You can still book your annual flu vaccine, here.

Travellers who are planning extended stays, and more remote and rural travel may also wish to consider vaccinations against Typhoid, Rabies and Hepatitis B.
More information on our travel vaccinations can be found here.

Those who are heading further south to rural areas where the weather is warmer may wish to consider vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis (JE),  which is spread via the culex mosquito. You can also purchase our ‘Ultimate Bug Kit’ which will help protect you from mosquito bites.

There have been recent cases of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in both the UK and China. Bird flu is a very unpleasant illness which can cause people to fall quite unwell. It is passed on via contact with infected birds. Travellers can minimise risk by avoiding contact with any birds (dead or alive): avoid touching dead or dying birds, and steer well clear of  ‘wet markets’ (marketplaces that sell meat, fish, and often live animals including birds).

Chinese New Year is heavily focused on food, with items such as fish, fruit and dumplings symbolising luck, wealth and prosperity. Travellers should ensure that they maintain good food and water practises to avoid tummy trouble whilst away. You should avoid tap water and ice made from tap water, instead stick to bottled water. Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the toilet. Ensure all food that you eat is cooked thoroughly and served straight to you.  And lastly, consider taking medicines for self-treatments with you, such as antibiotics – take our Online Travellers’ Diarrhoea Consultation to see if it is suitable for us to prescribe you standby Travellers’ Diarrhoea treatment.

By following these guidelines and ensuring you are generally sensible and hygienic, you will be able to relax and enjoy the sheer joys of travel and seeing the world.  

Happy Chinese New Year! 

 

You can book online for a travel consultation appointment here.
Or for more information on all of our travel vaccinations, wellness vaccinations or travellers’ diarrhoea.

Travel Tips Thursday - Myanmar

19.11.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Myanmar is becoming an increasingly popular destination to visit in South-East Asia.

The golden pagodas of Yangon and the stupors of Bagan are top on most travellers itineraries, alongside a trip down the Irrawaddy river to Inle Lake.

The more adventurous may head to the islands on the Myiek archipelago or hike the hill station of Kalaw. Whatever the itinerary, it is essential to ensure you have sought pre-travel advice to ensure you stay healthy whilst abroad.

Vaccines

Travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with their routine immunisations. All travellers should ensure that they have received a vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP) in the last 10 years. Other vaccinations that all travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with are Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Some travellers may wish to consider vaccination against hepatitis b, rabies, cholera and Japanese encephalitis. It is best to book a travel consultation with a travel nurse to discuss your route and your plans to ensure you are protected for all circumstances.

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

Malaria

The cities of Yangon and Mandalay have no risk of malaria. The majority of areas that travellers visit such as Bago, Inle Lake, Kyaikto Padoga and Bagan have a low risk of malaria and anti-malarial medication is not usually advised. The states of Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Rakhine and Sagaing have a high risk of malaria. Travellers visiting these areas are advised to take anti-malarial for this part of their trip. 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. Aim to sleep under a mosquito net to prevent bites whilst you sleep.

Insects

Myanmar 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 or medication that will prevent these illnesses, strict precautions must be taken to prevent being bitten. Wear long loose clothing and cover up as much as possible. Particularly between dawn and dusk. Wear a good insect relevant with a minimum of 50% DEET in it. Treat clothes with the insecticide permethrin for added protection. For short adventures, this can be done before your trip.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

Fancy a dip in Lake Inle?

Think again. Temperatures in Myanmar can reach 40 degrees and a quick dip in the lake may sound like a good way to cool off. However, there have been recent outbreaks of schistosomiasis infection in Myanmar. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic blood fluke. The fluke lives in freshwater snails and enters through the skin when an unsuspecting person takes a dip. The fluke causes infection of the liver, bladder and bowels and can lead to long term damage. The best way to avoid this is to avoid swimming or bathing in freshwater. The detection of schistosomiasis can take up to 8-weeks. You should visit a GP for a health assessment 2 months after your suspected exposure date, even if you haven’t yet returned to the UK.

First Aid

Some areas of Myanmar are remote. The further in-country you travel, the harder it will be to access medication and first aid supplies. In some areas, access will be non-existent. Packing a good basic first aid kit is essential to help treat minor injuries and illnesses. Include items such as dressings, plasters and antiseptic cream. They can help with minor cuts, scrapes and blisters. It is useful to pack items that can alleviate pain and treat upset stomachs, as these are common traveller’s health problems. Another medical kit you may want to consider is a worldwide gastro kit. Other items you may want to consider are anti-histamines for any mild allergic reactions.

If you take prescription medication to ensure you pack sufficient for your trip and carry a record of the medication with you.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | November 2019

Travel Tips Thursday - Botswana

19.10.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Botswana is one of the greatest safari destinations.

The Okavango Delta offers exceptional opportunities to view wild creatures and birdlife. Elephants roam freely and herds of buffalo crowd around the winding waterways the river. The stark and desolate landscape of the  Kalahari desert can be found in the south with the longest unbroken stretch of sand there is. Whatever your itinerary, ensure you follow our top travel tips.

Vaccines

All travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with their routine vaccinations including measles, hepatitis A, typhoid, diphtheria-tetanus and polio (DTP). You may want to consider getting vaccinations for rabies and hepatitis B as well. Both these diseases are classed as high-risk in Botswana. We would advise you to speak with a travel nurse ideally 4-6 weeks before travel. At this appointment, you can discuss where you’re going and what you plan to do. They can then advise you of all the recommended vaccinations you should consider.

Find out more information about our travel and wellness vaccinations.

Malaria

There is a high risk of malaria throughout the year in the northern areas of Botswana including the Okavango Delta, Chobe and Moremi. There is a low risk of malaria in the rest of the country including the central Kalahari, Gaborone and Gemsbok. Individuals travelling to hight risk regions are advised to take anti-malarial medications to prevent the disease. As well as taking precautions against mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that spread malaria predominantly bite at night. For that reason, it is essential you sleep under a mosquito net.

Insect prevention

All travellers need to take extra precautions against insect bites. Mosquitoes, ticks, mites and lice are able to spread diseases such as African tick bite fever, dengue fever, filariasis and myiasis. Travellers should wear good insect repellent with at least 50% DEET and try to cover up with long loose clothes. You can add extra protection to your clothes by treating them with an insecticide. We would recommend using a permethrin spray.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

What about Yellow Fever?

The is no risk of Yellow Fever in Botswana. It is therefore not recommended that travellers get vaccinated. Travellers may require a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if they are entering Botswana from a country that has yellow fever, or who have transited through a country with a risk of yellow fever.

First Aid Supplies

Areas of Botswana can be remote, and access to medication and first aid supplies can be limited. Packing a good basic first aid kit is a good idea to help treat minor injuries and illnesses. Basic items such as anti-histamines, pain relief and medicines to treat upset stomachs are useful. Likewise, pack small dressings, plasters and antiseptic cream to treat minor scrapes and scratches. If you take prescription medication to ensure you pack sufficient for your trip and carry a record of the medication with you.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | October 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

Travel Tips Thursday - Tanzania

19.08.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Tanzania is the perfect haven for adventurous travellers. Not only does it boast three of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders, but it is home to the ancient nomadic stewards, the iconic, Maasai people. It is also the perfect place for an African safari adventure, with it’s 16 national parks accounting for more than 30% of the country.  

Tanzania is blessed with the highest peak in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro beckons visitors from all over the world. It is the world’s highest free-standing volcano and gets an estimated 30,000 travellers attempting to summit the peak each year. Climbers by the thousands venture here to challenge themselves on its muddy slopes, rocky trails and slippery scree.

It’s crowning jewel is the island, Zanzibar. The island is famous for its mix of exotic white sand beaches, dense palm trees and coral seas. A true paradise. It hosts famous spice plantations and is rich with diverse culture. Unguja (the main island in Zanzibar) is also home to many endangered species including the red colobus monkey and green turtle.

Whether you are visiting for an action-packed safari, challenging yourself to reach the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro or relaxing on the island of Zanzibar, ensure you follow our top travel tips to stay healthy in Tanzania.

Vaccines

All travellers should ensure they are in date with all their routine immunisations, including diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP), and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). 

You should consider specialist travel vaccinations prior to travel. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are highly recommended. Furthermore, some travellers may also wish to be vaccinated against Rabies, Hepatitis B and Cholera for extra precautions. Especially if travelling to more rural areas.

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

Yellow Fever

In Tanzania, there is no risk of yellow fever. If you are only travelling directly from the UK and back, it generally isn’t advised to have yellow fever vaccine. There is, however, a requirement for travellers to have a certificate of vaccination if they enter Tanzania from another country that has Yellow Fever. Bordering countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi & DRC would all require a certificate. In this instance, a vaccination or a waiver certificate may be advised. It is best to speak with a specialist travel nurse, who will look at your route and access what vaccinations and certificates you would require.

Prevent Malaria

Whether you plan to visit Zanzibar or the mainland,  all areas of Tanzania have a risk of malaria. Therefore, you should take anti-malarial medication. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes that are most active between dusk and dawn. A common question is whether or not you need to take them if you plan to trek Mount Kilimanjaro. Even though the risk of malaria is low in areas above 2,500m, the start and finish of the trek take you well below this altitude. In short, you should take medication to prevent it. You should take precautions to reduce the risk of being bitten in the first place.

Precautions include:

  • Wear long, loose clothing
  • Wear plenty of mosquito repellent with a minimum of 50% DEET
  • Use clothes spray containing permethrin – you can spray before you travel for short-duration trips
  • Sleep under a mosquito net

See our Ultimate Bug Kit for everything you need to keep the mosquitos at bay.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

If you are trekking Kilimanjaro, make sure your pre-travel plans take this into account. Trekking is physically demanding and exposes you to the risk of altitude sickness. The summit of the peak is 5,895m and treks can take anything from 5-9 days. Altitude sickness is unpleasant. Not only this but it can develop into something more serious and become life-threatening. Take time to acclimatise. This will reduce your risk of developing altitude sickness. Ideally, 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.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | August 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 - 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

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.

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.

Travel Tips Thursday - Namibia Safari

19.06.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

A safari in Namibia is a unique experience in Africa. It has the highest sand dunes on the continent, the world’s oldest and uninhabited deserts, the Skeleton Coast and a lush jungle to the north. Whatever you have planned on your trip, ensure you follow our top travel tips to stay healthy.

Vaccines

All travellers need to ensure they are up-to-date with Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP). These are your basic traveller vaccine requirements. You may wish to consider further vaccinations against Rabies and Hepatitis B.

There is no risk of Yellow Fever in Namibia, however, travellers who will arrive in Namibia having transited from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever will be required to be in possession of a valid Yellow Fever Certificate.
Countries this would apply to include Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Ethiopia, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. For the full list of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission as per the World Health Organisation.

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

Malaria

There is a risk of malaria in the northern areas of Namibia of the Kunene River, Caprivi and Kavango regions and Etosha National Park. Windhoek, Swakopmund and the Skeleton coast have a low risk of malaria. If you intend to visit malarial regions, ensure that you take the antimalarial medication with you. Mosquitoes that are responsible for the spread of malaria are most active between dusk and dawn, and therefore you need to be extra cautious during this time against mosquito bites.

Insects

Ticks, flies and mosquitoes all have the ability to transmit unpleasant disease in Namibia. The best prevention against these diseases is to avoid mosquito bites. Cover up as much as possible and apply a minimum concentration of 50% DEET to any areas of exposed skin. Clothes can be treated with permethrin before setting off to provide an extra level of protection. Sleep under a mosquito net especially if you plan to stay anywhere remote or rural.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

Food and water

Travellers should exercise caution with food and water when travelling to Namibia to avoid tummy troubles. Do not drink tap water in Namibia, stick to bottled water or water that has been boiled. If you are undertaking a self-drive trip and plan camping in remote areas it is a good idea to take either a water bottle with a filter or some chlorine dioxide tablets to make water safe to drink should you not be able to find a shop with bottled water. The Namib Desert is one of the aridest in the world so always ensure you pack extra water.

See our Worldwide Gastro Kit to help with any travellers tummy troubles.

Book your travel appointment online today.

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | June 2019

Travel Tips Thursday- Tel Aviv, Israel

19.05.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Travel nurse Anna takes us on a journey to Tel Aviv. A city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast steeped in history and a vibrant cultural scene. From vaccinations to sun protection follow the top tips to travel safely.

Vaccines

All travellers are advised to ensure that they are in date with their routine vaccinations. Measles outbreaks have been reported in Israel since September 2018, and there are concerns that the increase of travellers heading to Israel for Passover in mid-April could see cases rise. Travellers should ensure that they have received two doses of measles vaccination (often referred to as the MMR) prior to departure.

Other travel vaccinations to be considered are diphtheria, tetanus and polio, and Hepatitis A. Some travellers may also wish to consider vaccinations against Hepatitis B and Rabies. It is always best to discuss which vaccinations are necessary for your trip with a travel nurse.

However, vaccinations cannot protect you from many diseases and dangers in Israel, the risk can be reduced through your behaviours…

Sun

Israel lies within the sub-tropical region with a Mediterranean climate. Summer temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius, and even higher in the Negev desert. Don’t let the Mediterranean summer breezes deceive you and stay sun safe. Keep hydrated, wear a high factor sunscreen and avoid the suns rays between 11am-3pm when at its strongest.

Food and Water

Israel is foodie heaven but travellers should still maintain good food and water practices to avoid tummy trouble whilst away. Avoid tap water and ice made from tap water: stick to bottled water. Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the toilet. Ensure all food you eat is cooked thoroughly and served straight to you. For those who would still like the freedom to eat and drink without worry, it is advisable to carry a gastro kit with you. Inside will be various medications that can assist with travellers’ diarrhoea, should it occur.

Insects

Mosquitoes and sand flies can be particularly problematic during the summer months. Not only can their bites cause irritation, but they can also spread diseases such as West Nile Fever, dengue fever and leishmaniasis. There are no specific vaccinations and preventative treatments for these diseases, and bite avoidance is the only way. Try and cover up especially between dusk and dawn, and wear a good insect repellant that contains at least 50% DEET.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

From Red to Dead…

From the riches of the coral seas in the red 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.

You can book all vaccination appointments or travel consultations online.

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | May 2019

Travel Tips Thursday- Bolivia

19.05.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Bolivia is famous for its salt flats and varied terrain spanning over the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert and Amazon Basin rainforest. Located in South America, the climate varies drastically from one eco-region to the other. Travelling around Bolivia you’ll experience different climatic extremes, such as humid tropical climates to subtropical climates to desert-polar climates. It is important to seek travel advice before travelling as medical advice can vary dependent on the area/s you plan to visit.

Our general advice includes:

 Vaccines

Routine immunisations are a high priority; it is good to check that they are all up-to-date before travelling anywhere. Given the current worldwide outbreaks, we strongly recommend checking your immunity status to measles. A simple immunity test can confirm all those who are unable to source vaccine proof. The best protection against measles is having 2 doses of a measles-containing vaccination, such as the MMR.

Travel vaccinations for Bolivia vary depending on where you plan to travel, and what you plan to do. It is best to book a consultation with a travel nurse to discuss your upcoming adventure. They will assess what risks you will potentially be exposed to. From this, they can develop a bespoke treatment plan specifically for your holiday.

As a minimum, travellers should be protected against Hepatitis A, and diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Certain travellers may consider vaccinations against typhoid, Rabies, Hepatitis B and Yellow Fever.

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever is an unpleasant virus spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito tends to bite during the day and is present in many lowland areas of South America and in all areas below 2,300m in Bolivia. Travellers who intend to visit the lowlands, such as the Chaco, Santa Cruz district and the Amazon may be advised to have the vaccine.

Yellow Fever Map, Bolivia, Yellow Fever Vaccine at Fleet Street Clinic, London

If your travel route includes other South American countries, you may also require the vaccination and an accompanying Yellow Fever Certificate in order to enter that country. The vaccination is not suitable for everybody. A careful risk assessment should be undertaken by a practitioner that specialises in the vaccine. Yellow Fever can only be given at designated Yellow Fever vaccination centres (YFVCs) – Fleet Street Clinic is a registered clinic.

Altitude

Bolivia is home to some of the highest peaks of the Andes mountains, with elevations of over 6,000m. The frequently visited cities of La Paz,  Potosi and Uyuni all soar over 3,500m, making altitude sickness a real risk. The risk can be reduced by ensuring you stay hydrated, plan a slow ascent and factor in some acclimatisation days. Acetazolamide (Diamox) can be used to help aid the process. Book a pre-travel assessment and speak to a travel nurse about your options.

Insects

Mosquitoes, bugs and flies do more than just bite. They have the ability to transmit diseases that aren’t always preventable by vaccination or medication. Illnesses such as dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever, malaria and sleeping sickness are a few risks.

The best prevention is to entirely avoid mosquito bites. Cover up as much as possible and apply a minimum concentration of 50% DEET to any areas of exposed skin. Spraying your clothes with permethrin before travelling can provide extra protection. Sleep under a mosquito net, especially, if you plan to stay anywhere remote or rural.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

Malaria

Malaria occurs in the northern parts of Bolivia, in the Beni and Pando districts. Travellers heading to these areas should ensure they take anti-malarial medication. Mosquitoes that spread malaria are predominantly night-time biters. So, extra precautions should be taken between dusk and dawn. Any travellers who experience fever or flu-like symptoms on return from their trip should ensure they get tested for malaria, as unfortunately, no single prevention method is 100% effective.

First Aid

Whilst medical services and pharmacies are available in bigger cities, access to basic services is limited or even non-existent in the remote regions. Travel prepared and take a small medical kit that can treat basic complaints. Pack painkillers, antiseptic cream, plasters or dressing, and medication in case you suffer from an upset stomach. Head over to our online shop to purchase an essential first aid medical kit. This contains all your travelling medical essentials.

If you are prone to allergies, a non-drowsy antihistamine is helpful. Furthermore, if you take prescription medication, be sure to pack enough to last you for your entire trip.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | May 2019

Travel Tips Thursday: Brazil

19.05.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Brazil: Yellow Fever

The incidence of Yellow Fever cases in Brazil has been increasing recently, with over 1000 cases of Yellow Fever in Brazil since July 2017. The cases were reported in Sao Paolo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espiritu Santo and Distrito Federal.

As well as an increase in human cases of yellow fever, 738 cases of yellow fever virus in monkeys have been reported. Since the outbreak, several unvaccinated travellers have contracted yellow fever, and there has been at least one death. Due to the ongoing outbreak, travellers going to at risk areas of Brazil are advised to get the Yellow Fever vaccination.

In addition the World Health Organisation also advised travellers heading to the states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul should receive the vaccination, irrespective of location.

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever is a flavirus found in the tropics of Africa and South America.

Monkeys are a natural carrier for the virus and it is spread between monkeys and humans via the bite of an aedes mosquito.

Illness: It causes an acute viral illness which has a 50% mortality rate.

Prevention: The yellow fever vaccination should be considered for travellers who are visiting a high risk area. A single vaccination affords life long protection. The vaccination many not be suitable for everyone, so ensure you seek a full travel consultation.

Map of current areas with a risk of Yellow Fever

 

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | February 2019

Travel Tips Thursday - Marrakesh

19.04.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Marrakesh is a former Imperial City and the heart of Morocco. Whether you plan on visiting the medinas of Marrakesh or branch out to the sands of the Sahara or the heights of the Atlas mountains, ensure you follow our top travel tips to stay healthy.

Vaccinations


All travellers should ensure they have received vaccinations against Hepaitis A and diphtheria-tetanus and polio. Vaccinations against typhoid should be considered for those who cannot guarantee safe food and water during their trip, Hepatitis B and Rabies vaccinations can be considered for some travellers, especially those travelling to more remote locations.

Water


Travellers should be careful when dining in Morocco. This will help to prevent food and water-borne illnesses. You should avoid drinking tap water, and stick to boiled water, or bottled sealed water. Those who are trekking may wish to take a water bottle with a filter or a supply of chlorine dioxide tablets to make water safe when in remote locations.

Food Safety


Stick to the mantra of cooking it, peel it, boil it, forget it. If you cannot cook, peel or boil what you plan to eat or drink, it is probably safest to avoid consuming. Food contaminated with local water, such as salads are considered high risk and best to be avoided. Ensure all food is cooked thoroughly and served straight away. Avoid buffet items which may have been sat for long periods of time and could be contaminated. You can also purchase our worldwide gastro kit.

First Aid


The availability of health care and first aid supplies are limited in Morocco. Whether you are visiting the median of Marrakesh or ambling around the Atlas, taking a good first aid kit with you is essential – click here to buy online now.
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.

Altitude


The peak of Mount Toubkal exceeds 4,000m and can be summited in 5-7 hours. High altitude and fast ascent rates can put travellers at risk of altitude sickness and acute mountain sickness. The risk can be reduced by ensuring you stay hydrated, plan a slow ascent and factor in some acclimatisation days. Acetazolamide (Diamox) can be used to help aid the process, speak to a travel nurse about this at your pre-travel assessment.

It is always best to seek travel advice before any holiday. A pre-travel assessment is quick and easy, vaccinations and prescriptions can be given within a single appointment and any follow-up treatments to complete courses arranged for a convenient time straight away.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | April 2019

Travel Tips Thursday - Uzbekistan

19.04.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Uzbekistan is home to spellbinding architecture and ancient cities. In terms of sights alone, Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s biggest draw and most impressive showstopper. Fabulous mosques, medressas and mausoleums are just some of the pulls for tourists when visiting Uzbekistan while more eccentric views can be seen at the fast disappearing Aral Sea and Nuratau Mountains.

Travel Nurse, Anna, shares her top tips on how to stay healthy during your trip to Uzbekistan.

Vaccinations

Ensure you are up-to-date with your travel vaccinations. The minimum advised for a trip to Uzbekistan is diphtheria tetanus and polio, and Hepatitis A. Typhoid, Hepatitis B and Rabies can be considered by some travellers. It is advisable to attend for a pre-travel assessment with a travel nurse 6-weeks before your trip as some vaccinations requires several injections to complete the course.

Food and water

Precautions against the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea should be taken to prevent an upset stomach ruining your trip. Do not drink tap water in Uzbekistan, stick to bottled water or water that has been boiled. If you are trekking or visiting remote areas it’s a good idea to take either a water bottle with a filter or some chlorine dioxide tablets to make water safe to drink, should you not be able to find a shop with bottled water.

Sour milk dishes dominate the Uzbek cuisine. Cue caution if you want to try ‘kurt’, the famous fermented cheese balls. There is a risk of a bacterial disease called brucellosis that can be spread through unpasteurised dairy products such as cheese and milk.

Travelling further afield

Uzbekistan forms one of the countries on the old silk route. If you plan on a tour of the ‘Stans’ or attempting the whole Beijing to Istanbul route, you may need to consider other travel health precautions. Depending on your route, and also the time of year you intend to travel, you may wish to consider vaccinations against Tick-Borne Encephalitis and Japanese Encephalitis.

Altitude

Khazret Sultan, Uzbekistan’s highest peak stands at 4643m. Many popular walking and hiking routes such as Big Chimgan exceed over 3000m, making altitude related illnesses a hazard. Tips for reducing altitude sickness include a slow ascent route, keeping hydrated, ensuring that your sleeping altitude doesn’t exceed 500m per day. Diamox (acetazolamide) is a prescription medication that can reduce the symptoms of altitude related illness.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | April 2019

Tick-Borne Disease in Europe

12.04.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

ADVICE ON TICK-BORNE DISEASE IN EUROPE

Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE) is a viral disease that is spread by the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. It is estimated that the disease infects at least 13,000 people every year.

Symptoms can occur from 4-28 days post-bite and include fever, fatigue and muscle aches.

The virus can also go on to affect the brain and spinal cord, causing meningitis, with up to 20% of cases resulting in death. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for TBE.

TBE occurs in 3 main geographical locations:

European TBE – Western Europe

Siberian TBE – Urals, Siberia, Far-Eastern Russia and Finland

Far Eastern TBE – far Eastern Russia, China and Japan

Transmission of TBE occurs mainly during the summer months, mainly via wild vertebrate animals such as rodents. It can be transmitted either by ingestion of unpasteurised milk, or milk products from infected animals or by the bite of an infected tick.

If you’re travelling to affected countries during the transmission period, you are most at risk if you are doing outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and walking in forested areas where ticks are abundant.

Take the following precautions to avoid infection:

Wear long trousers and sleeves. Impregnating clothing with permethrin and using insect repellents such as DEET are also good ways of preventing tick bites.

Get vaccinated. Ticovac (and Ticovac Junior for children) is advised for travellers who may be at risk. It requires two vaccinations prior to travel, and the third dose after a year can provide up to 5 years protection.

Check your body for ticks -especially in the armpits, groin and behind the knees.

Remove ticks promptly and correctly and clean the bite site with antiseptic.

Fast Facts

What Tick-Borne Encephalitis
Where Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Siberia
When Summer Months
How Infected bite of a tick
Can it be prevented? Yes – Vaccination and tick-prevention

Tick Removal Tips

If you find a tick embedded on your skin you need to remove it, asap:

To remove a tick follow these steps :

  • Use a pair of fine tweezers or a tick-remover
  • Grasp the tick head as close the skin as possible
  • Pull upwards at right-angles to the skin

Top tip: Avoid putting pressure on the body to avoid incomplete removal which may cause infection.

TICK-BORNE ENCEPHALITIS VACCINATION

There is a vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis (Ticovac and Ticovac Junior) which is highly effective against TBE. The primary schedule requires two vaccinations to be given 14 days apart, and a third dose to be given one year later. A booster vaccination is recommended after 3 years. The vaccination is suitable for adults and children over the age of one-year-old.

You can book a travel consultation appointment online to find out if you beed a tick-borne encephalitis vaccine for your next trip.

Damian King: Indian Adventure for CALM

22.03.2019 Category: Clinic News Author: Lisa-Marie Ryan

As a specialist travel clinic, we are passionate about travel and get inspired by stories from our patients every day.

We meet interesting people day in, day out, both at the clinic and when we’re doing trade shows.

Following a chance meeting at the Adventure Travel Show in January, we felt inspired to support Damian King as he embarks on an extreme adventure across India.

Damian explained his plans to walk from North India to South India – starting at Kashmir and ending in Kanyakumari. This is a total of 2,547km aiming for 30miles per day – which is no easy feat!

Not only is Damian’s mission a personal extreme adventure to tick off the bucket list but a way to raise awareness and fundraise for CALM, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). If you are unfamiliar with this charity, they are leaders in the movement against male suicide. Which, unfortunately, is still the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

It is a sad fact that on average 84 men take their lives every week in the UK. As a society, we need to remove the stigma of mental health as a whole but specifically around gender expectations, gender norms and toxic masculinity which has embedded itself with our culture. As healthcare professionals, we strongly believe in promoting a healthy lifestyle, advocate for disease prevention and highlighting the importance of self-care and wellbeing. This is why we so passionately decided to support Damian. To be in some way a small (but essential) part of his adventure and assist in raising awareness for male suicide felt thrilling and essential. Part of our company ethos is to support the adventurous traveller so we said yes to becoming his medical partner, offering support for vaccinations, travel advice, medical kits, podiatry advice and also nutritional advice.

“The decision to work with the guys at Fleet Street Clinic was quite simple. I required a varied number of services which they offered. They are centrally located in between the West End and City, and more importantly, it doesn’t have the clinical feel of a doctors surgery like many do.”

              – Damian King

As a specialist travel clinic, we advocate the importance of good health whilst travelling and assist travellers to view health as one of the most important aspects of their adventure holiday. We have assisted with Damian in his preparation for his adventure from top to toe. Important parts of his pre-travel preparation were travel vaccinations alongside travel advice; highlighting risks from the weather, insects, animals, food and water. Other important health checks included a visit to the podiatrist to ensure his feet remained healthy during training and whilst walking, the nutritionist to speak about the impact of his diet whilst travelling and what he should and shouldn’t be eating in preparation for such a drastic amount of exercise and an in-body scan to document his training efforts which looks at weight distribution, muscle mass and body fat percentage.

We are proud to be a part of Damian’s journey and we wish him a fantastic and safe adventure. If you would like to follow Damian King’s adventure, you can find out more on his blog or on his Instagram.

If you are thinking of embarking on your own travel adventure and need a travel consultation appointment, you can book online.

Travel Tips Thursday - Bahamas

19.03.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Boating in the Bahamas

The best way to see the Bahamas is by boat. As an archipelago of over 700 islands and cays all strung together like pearls over a turquoise sea, the majority of visitors choose to cruise to see the many delights that this country has to offer. Whether you only visit the Bahamas or take an all-encompassing Caribbean cruise, it is important to remember those travel vaccinations and travel health advice are essential if you are to enjoy a happy healthy holiday.

Here are our top travel tips for staying healthy in the Bahamas…

Vaccinations

All travellers should be in date with diphtheria, tetanus polio and Hepatitis A. There is no risk of the Yellow Fever virus in the Bahamas, however, if your cruise takes you to an area that does have a risk of the virus (such as South America), you will need to provide evidence of vaccination in the form of a valid Yellow Fever certificate. Cruise ships are confined spaces with a high volume of passengers which makes you more susceptible to infections. If you plan on travelling during the winter months, it is sensible to consider a flu vaccination as respiratory viruses can spread easily.

Sun

The Bahamas lie in the tropical Caribbean seas making the sun, sea and sand the major attraction.  Remember to be sun safe. Wear a high factor sun cream throughout your holiday. The sun’s rays are particularly strong between 11am-3pm so it’s best to avoid direct exposure during this time. Slap on a hat, slip on a shirt and slop on some sunscreen.

Insects

The Bahamas have a risk of dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus. These illness are spread via the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Whilst causing mild illness in many, they can cause more serious complications and are best avoided. Zika virus is associated with a serious complication during pregnancy and those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon after the trip are advised against travel to the area. There are no specific vaccinations against these mosquito-borne viruses so bite prevention is the only defence. Cover up exposed skin and wear an insect repellent containing at least 50% DEET.

See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

Gastro Kit

The majority of Bahamian cuisine comes straight out of the sea. Whilst seafood and fish are delicious, ensure that any food consumed is cooked thoroughly and served fresh to you. The Bahamas has an abundance of fresh tropical fruit but it is wise to adhere to the ‘cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it’ saying to avoid the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea. We advise travellers to take a gastro kit with them which can help prevent and treat the commonest gastrointestinal symptoms that occur when travelling.

Cruise Health

If you do plan to see the Bahamas by boat, ensure you follow some sensible precautions to avoid getting sick from fellow passengers. Wash your hands regularly, make use of the alcohol-based sanitizers stations on board, carry a small alcohol-based hand sanitiser to keep your hands clean when off the ship. Ensure you stay hydrated, but make sure you drink water from a safe source (bottled, boiled or purified).

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | March 2019

Travel Tips Thursday- Holi Festival

19.02.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Stay healthy at Holi

Holi is a famous spring Hindu festival that is celebrated in every part of India. It is known as the festival of colours and is mostly celebrated in March in Rajasthan.

The celebration signifies the beginning of spring beginning and the end of winter. It is sometimes known as the “festival of colours” or the “festival of love”. During the festival, it is encouraged to throw powdered paint (gulal) into the air. This symbolises the abundance of colours of spring and the celebration of a new season.

Here are top travel tips to stay healthy at Holi.

Don’t forget your travel vaccinations

Travellers going to India should ensure they are up-to-date with their travel vaccinations. These include Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. Rabies, Hepatitis B and Japanese Encephalitis are sometimes suggested and are dependent on where you’re travelling to and the activities you plan to do there. A consultation with a travel nurse will provide you with all the information needed to make an informed decision either way.

You can find more about vaccinations on our travel and wellness vaccine pages.

Eat, drink and be merry…

India is food heaven but don’t let travellers diarrhoea turn it into a Holi holiday hell. Avoid tap water or ice from an unknown source. Ensure bottled water has an intact seal if buying from a vendor. Alternatively, invest in a water-to-go bottle which has a built-in filter making unsafe water safe to drink. You can pick one up during a travel appointment at the clinic whilst getting your vaccines.

Eat well-cooked food served piping hot, and avoid fruits and salad items that might have been washed in the local water. It is worth investing in a gastro medical kit which contains all the necessary medicines should you get sick at any point during your travels.

Colour vision…

Holi festival is synonymous with the throwing of coloured powder. Contact lens wearers should stick to their glasses during the festival so to avoid getting dye in their eyes. Any dye that makes its way into your eye could cause a chemical injury and lasting damage. If any powder does get in your eye, wash it well with clean running water.

Don’t let the dye stop the DEET.

Dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, Japanese Encephalitis and even malaria can occur in parts of India. Therefore, banish the bugs bites by covering up as much as possible, wearing a good insect repellent with at least 50% DEET. See our Ultimate Bug Kit.

If you are trying to conceive, travelling to ‘at-risk countries’ is not advised.
For more information on the Zika virus and advise, you can speak to one our travel nurses during a travel consultation.

We’d always recommend for travellers to book a 30-minute travel consultation with a travel nurse prior to travelling to ensure all necessary vaccinations are given and any risks are discussed.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | February 2019

Travel Tips Thursday - Panama

19.01.2019 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Panama sits on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. With its cloud forests, coffee farms, magical islands, world-class diving and a canal that connects two oceans, many people choose to make Panama their holiday destination.

If you plan to go, follow our travel tips to have a safe and healthy holiday.

Vaccinations for vacation

It is advised that all travellers be up-to-date with Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Polio. Higher risk travellers may want to consider vaccinations against Typhoid, Rabies and Hepatitis B. It is best to speak with a travel expert to see what they advise for you.

You can find more information on our wellness and travel vaccinations.

Prevent mosquito bites

It is no longer necessary to take anti-malarial medication if visiting Panama. However, precautions against mosquito bites should be taken as viruses such as dengue fever, Zika virus and chikungunya can be transmitted in the region. Pack some insect repellent with at least 50% DEET, and take a mosquito net if you plan to stay in traditional accommodation that may not provide one. You can help protect yourself from mosquitos with our Ultimate Bug Kit.

Find out if you need a Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow Fever exists east of the Panama canal. If you plan to visit this area the vaccination is recommended. Also, those who plan to enter Panama from a country that has a risk of Yellow Fever (such as Colombia) will need to be in possession of a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate.

Pack a first aid kit

A first aid kit with necessary medication and first aid items is a good idea. Accessing medical care and medical supplies in parts of the region can be difficult, especially for those who plan to visit the San Blas Islands, cloud forests or coffee farms. Those who plan on diving in the Bocas del Toro may wish to take out items such as ear drops for an infection, and antiseptic cream for any coral cuts.

Don’t get travel sick

A huge attraction in Panama is the coastline and archipelago, including the San Blas and the Pearl Islands. Accessing parts of Panama often involves long bumpy journeys by road and boat trips to the islands can often be choppy. If you suffer from travel sickness, ensure you pack medication to prevent this, and take it before you set out on the journey to prevent feeling queasy.

Book your travel appointment today

By Anna Chapman |  Travel Nurse | January 2019

Travel Tips Thursday: Dublin

19.09.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Laura Berry

A weekend in Dublin

The unique mixture of hedonism and heritage makes Dublin the perfect city break.
Be ready to eat and drink your way around the city, indulge and celebrate, both these things are encouraged wherever you go. The Irish definitely know how to live life to the full.

Here is our flu coordinator Laura’s guide to ensure you have a memorable weekend in Dublin.

Plan Ahead

Dublin requires a certain amount of pre-planning especially if you’re wanting a budget city break. Prices tend to steadily increase the closer you book to the date of travel. So, expect to pay more if you’re more of the spontaneous adventurer.
Depending on if you’re taking the whole family or travelling alone, we’d always book flights in advance. Especially expect to pay more on St Patrick’s weekend!
Book your accommodation early! There is a big rental shortage in Dublin and popular times throughout the year can result in overpriced accommodation at hostels, hotels and even Airbnb’s.

Clothing

The Irish weather has a reputation for having four seasons in one day and for that reason pack clothes for all types of weathers. Layering is key, that way you can add and remove layers depending on the weather. An absolute essential is a lightweight raincoat for those unexpected downpours.

Footwear

If you are an adventurous traveller, you will find your normal running trainers might not be enough for the unexpected weather and puddles! We’d recommend investing in some hiking boots, these will come in handy for those out of city days and will make sure your feet stay nice and dry.

Guinness

No trip to Dublin is complete without a trip to the Guinness Brewery. This is a must do!
Believe it when people say the Guinness tastes different in Ireland, it definitely does. Just a tip – Save yourself from the huge queues and book your ticket online. Be ready to drink – your tour comes with a free taster at the end!

Natural Beauty

The city can be all-encompassing but make time to visit the landscapes and explore the natural beauty of the beautiful Irish cliffs. One of the natural wonders to visit would be the Giant’s Causeway. Breathtaking scenery!
You might find it easier to do this by renting a car, remember to bring a credit card and your passport. It can be very cheap, and lets you see all the best stops in your own time.

Locals know best

It is always handy if you know a local, they have all the insider knowledge and are able to steer you away from all the overpriced tourist traps and find something truly authentic. If like me, you don’t know a local, my advice is to ask around, you’re sure to find a friendly local who’ll share the history of Ireland with you in exchange for a pint of Guinness (or two!)

A bit of history

There are no shortages of bars and pubs in Dublin. A couple to definitely make sure you visit would be The Brazen Head and The Temple Bar.
The Brazen Head is Ireland’s oldest pub, the present building was built in 1754 as a coaching inn. However, it appears in documents as far back as 1653.

The temple bar is very loud and very busy, so not to everyone’s liking but if that is your scene then you won’t be disappointed. Many famous Irish legends have taken to their stage and entertain large crowds with their iconic songs and ballads throughout the years. Definitely sink an Irish whisky here!

Book your travel appointment today

By Laura Berry |  Flu Project Coordinator | September 2018

Travel Tips Thursday: Just back from... South Africa

19.09.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Our travel clinic nurse, Anna Chapman, has just returned from an amazing two weeks travelling around South Africa.
Many items were ticked off her bucket list including a stay in Cape Town, a visit to the Winelands of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch and a stopover in Hermanus and Touwsrivier in the Western Cape. It was a busy trip!
Anna shares her top travel health tips for staying healthy on the road.

TRAVEL VACCINATIONS ARE A MUST!

Make sure you get your travel vaccinations in plenty of time prior to travelling. Book a travel consultation appointment 4-6 weeks before your flight to discuss health safety and vaccination recommendations. Travellers with a pre-existing health problem should book an appointment with a GP even earlier. Often vaccines are left to the last minute and not prioritised but it is important to protect yourself against life-threatening diseases.

South Africa is a huge country and the vaccinations you need will depend on exactly where you plan to stay, visit and what you plan to do. Depending on where you enter the country, high-risk areas may require you to provide proof of yellow fever vaccination on entering.

The far eastern provinces and game parks of South Africa pose a risk of malaria. If you are planning a safari, find out which reserve you will be visiting to determine if you will require anti-malarial medication. There are numerous game parks in the east and centre of the country which are malaria free. We also recommend our Ultimate Bug Kit to help protect you from mosquitos. 

Other vaccinations to consider; hepatitis A, polio and typhoid.

BE MINDFUL OF THE WATER DROUGHT

There has been a severe drought in South Africa, particularly in the Western Cape. At present, there are active water restrictions in place throughout. You should be mindful of water consumption and comply with local restrictions.

As a result, many toilets no longer have running water to wash your hands with and instead offer hand sanitiser. Make sure you take your own hand sanitiser with you just in case the public facilities run out. Good hand hygiene is key to preventing upset stomachs otherwise known as travellers’ diarrhoea. Travellers should consider booking the drinkable vaccination, Dukoral, which protects against cholera and travellers’ diarrhoea. It would probably be worthwhile in taking a diarrhoea treatment pack with you on your travel as well.

TRAVEL SICKNESS

The Western Cape and the Cape of Good Hope is known for stormy seas. If you are prone to travel sickness and plan on taking any boat trips, make sure you pack seasickness medication. Whale watching is a popular tourist activity, and even the short boat ride from Cape Town to Robben Island can be rough enough to make those susceptible to seasickness feel queasy.

OVERNIGHT FLIGHT RISKS

Most travellers enter South Africa in a direct overnight flight from the UK. With only an hour time difference from the UK, people use this flight to catch up on sleep before they land. Sitting immobile for prolonged periods can put you at risk of a deep vein thrombosis. Minimise the risk by staying hydrated, keeping mobile and wearing compression stockings throughout the flight

IMPORTANT AFTER TRAVEL APPOINTMENTS

Travellers returning with diarrhoea should seek medical care if symptoms do not improve within three days. At Fleet Street Clinic, we have an on-site PCR machine which is able to identify the cause of travellers’ diarrhoea to produce a rapid report. Our GP’s can identify the exact cause, provide an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment.
Medical advice should be sought earlier for those who are elderly, children and other vulnerable travellers if they are showing signs of dehydration.
______________________________

Our experience team of travel nurses can help advise with any queries or more information on South Africa.

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

Could your flight be making you ill?

19.06.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

How to avoid getting ill on flights – The Telegraph

How many times have you come down with an illness after taking a flight? Are you concerned about germs when flying? If so, you may (or may not!) want to read the findings of a study showing how infections spread on planes.

The Telegraph reported the study with advice from Fleet Street Clinic’s medical director, Dr Richard Dawood.

Essentially, where you sit in relation to sick passengers and cabin crew will determine your chances of catching an infection.

The study shows:

  • Passengers sitting nearest the aisle are most likely to catch an infection from an ill cabin crew member.
  • For the best chance of protecting yourself from cabin crew bugs, sit in the window seat.
  • Sick passengers pose less risk, although if you are sitting very close to an infected passenger then watch out, as you are at high risk of catching their illness.

It’s not all bad for passengers though, as cabin crew were reported more likely to infect one another than passengers. To avoid catching anything, make sure you wash their hands and avoid touching your face throughout the flight. If you feel ill yourself, make sure you keep your hands clean, avert your face when you cough and turn on the air to reduce the spread of bugs.

Dr Richard Dawood said airlines should not allow anyone to travel who was obviously ill.

“It’s a contravention of airline regulations for someone who’s showing overt signs of infection to be allowed to travel in the first place,”

– he said.

He said the best way travellers could protect themselves was by asking someone to wear a face mask.

“The ideal thing to do would be to get the person who’s ill to wear a face mask. You could escalate it to captain level and say, here’s a person who’s a danger to other passengers and they should wear a face mask. However, you could end up with a pretty nasty incident if someone digs in their heels,”

– he said.

You can read the full article here.

For travel advice, you can book a travel consultation appointment here. Or you can learn more about our travel clinic.

Travel Consultations - Why So Important?

19.06.2018 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Anna Chapman, one of our experienced Travel Nurses, gives her top 5 reasons why having a travel consultation is so important … food for thought if you’re planning a trip abroad.

1 – Reputable advice from a trusted source

Clinics that specialise in travel have practitioners who have completed extra qualifications in travel medicine, such as a Diploma in Travel Medicine, Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Certificate of Travel Health.  These qualifications ensure the practitioner gets specialist knowledge that is kept up-to-date by attending conferences and participating in research in the field.  Many practitioners who work in travel medicine have experienced health care abroad, through extensive personal travel or through working or volunteering.  This means the travel advice that a patient receives is always current and accurate.

Our travel nurses at the Fleet Street Clinic have a Diploma in Tropical Nursing and a Certificate in Travel Health and both GPs have a Diploma in Travel Medicine and a Certificate in Travel Health.  All the practitioners in our Travel Clinic have travelled extensively and practiced their profession in developing countries.  This means they are more aware of the risks that travellers face and have a greater understanding of how to deal with health issues on the road.

2 – Personalised travel consultation

No two people are the same and no two travel itineraries are the same.  Travel consultations take this into account and give detailed and bespoke travel advice, not only for the itinerary but also for the individual.  Seeing a practitioner face-to-face means that personal risks can be evaluated to ensure all travel health needs are met, rather taking a “one size fits all” approach.

3 – Travel health is NOT just about travel vaccinations

Whilst vaccinations are important, there are many aspects to staying healthy while abroad.  In addition to vaccinations, there are considerations such as avoiding insect bites, use of medical kits, coping with jet lag, use of stand-by medications and coping with altitude sickness – all things that can be discussed when you have a travel consultation

4 – On-going care

Just because you have had your vaccinations before your trip, it doesn’t mean that your care ends when you leave the clinic. Specialist clinics can provide on-going care for subsequent trips and/or post-travel health concerns

5 – Time to talk

When a clinic has a specialist travel service, ample time is allocated to each appointment.  Having a team of dedicated staff committed to travel medicine means that appointments can be completely flexible and can accommodate individuals, groups or families, both at the clinic or off-site, as well as offering appointments for last minute travellers.

You can book a travel health consultation online.  Or see here, or more information about our travel health services.

In the News: The Zika Virus and pregnancy

19.05.2018 Category: News Author: Dr Richard Dawood

The Zika Virus has been making headlines recently for it’s frightening links to rare birth defects. Brazil has even gone as far as to warn women to avoid falling pregnant whilst an epidemic is rife. The link between 400 cases of new-borns with microcephaly in the north-east of Brazil is being investigate by health authorities. 

The increase in microcephaly, a neurological disorder that stunts the growth of the baby’s cranium, limiting it to a circumference of less than 33cm, has increased in Brazil from 59 cases in 2014, rising to 1,248 cases throughout 2015. Typically, life expectancy for babies born with the condition is reduced. In 90% of cases, brain function is also reduced. There are currently no travel restrictions in affected areas.

How is the virus contracted?

The Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Outbreaks have been seen across Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

What are the the symptoms and treatment?

The common symptoms, usually mild and often lasting from a few days to one week, can be a rash, fever, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. There is currently no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat the virus. Pain killers can be used to alleviate these symptoms which often go mistaken as a fever, and can easily be missed, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.

Is there a way to reduce my risk? 

Insect bite precautions is paramount, especially for pregnant women in the affected areas. The NHS travel website, Fit For Travel, recommends:

  • Covering up – wearing long sleeved tops and long trousers
  • Spraying thinner clothing with insect repellent
  • Burning pyrethroid coils and heating insecticide impregnated tablets
  • Sleeping in a screened room where possible or using a treated mosquito net

If you are travelling to Brazil or any of the infected areas, book an appointment with one of our dedicated Travel Clinic nurses for information on vaccines and travel wellbeing now on 020 7353 5678.

Zika Virus – Additional Resources
Zika virus: medical advice for travellers – The Telegraph – Richard Dawood

Zika Virus – Video
Watch Fleet Street Clinic’s Dr Richard Dawood discuss Zika Virus on Victoria Derbyshire.

Fleet Street Travel Clinic at The Adventure Travel Show, 20 -21 January

17.01.2018 Category: Clinic News Author: Lisa-Marie Ryan

Fleet Street Clinic is delighted to be attending the Adventure Travel Show at Olympia in London, Saturday 20 – Sunday 21st January 2018.

Our travel nurses Anna and Leigh-Ann will be on Stand E19 to share their travel expertise, offer travel advice and health guidance to help you get in great shape for your next trip.

Come along to meet us and receive special prizes and discounts. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for live updates from the show.

Adventure Travel Show

The Adventure Travel Show is dedicated to travel enthusiasts who want to take a trip off the beaten track.

With a range of specialist adventure travel companies exhibiting and informative talks from experts, including explorer Ranulph Fiennes, the event is sure to inspire you before your next travel adventure!

Save 15% on admission

To get your exclusive discount code for The Adventure Travel Show and save 15% on admission, please email  info@fleetstreetclinic.com. You receive an email with your code and a link to buy the tickets.