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Advice for All Destinations Immunisations Malaria Other Health Risks Notice Board News

Advice for All Destinations

If you're planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation, including:

  • your destination
  • how long you'll stay
  • what you’ll be doing
  • your general health

Ideally consult with your travel healthcare practitioner 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. If your trip is sooner, contact them anyway, they may still be able to help and its never too late to seek advice.

Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken. These include food and water safety, accident prevention, care with sun exposure, avoiding insect bites and animal bites, and practicing good respiratory hygiene.

If you will be travelling with medication (including over the counter medication) you should check for any restrictions on medications before you travel, you can do this by contacting the embassy of the country you're visiting.

Ensure you have travel insurance and are fully covered for medical emergencies including repatriation. For Travel Safety Advice you should visit the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

A worldwide list of travel clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel Medicine is available on their website

If you are unwell on return from travel, seek medical attention and let your healthcare practitioner know where you have been.

Immunisations

  • Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
  • Courses or boosters usually advised: none.
  • Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Tetanus.
  • Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Rabies.
  • No yellow fever vaccination certificate required for this country.

Notes on the diseases mentioned above

  • Hepatitis A spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.

    Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.

    Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.

  • Hepatitis B spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.

    Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.

    Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.

  • Rabies spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, and also cats and bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children.All travellers should avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic) particularly dogs and cats. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
  • Tetanus spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Malaria

  • Malaria not normally present unless the illness was contracted abroad.

Other Health Risks

Dengue Fever

A viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain - hence its other name 'breakbone fever'. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. For further information see Dengue Fever

Notice Board

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

A novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), originating in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China was first detected in December 2019. It has been reported from all regions of China and has also been detected in other countries around the world.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) countries or territories pages should be checked prior to travel for the latest advice:

  • FCO travel advisories are subject to change and should be checked regularly.
  • A number of countries have announced restrictions on entry by travellers from China in response to the outbreak. Prior to travel travellers should check the latest FCO travel advice, including entry requirements for their destination and check with their airline/tour operator.

Travellers to countries reporting cases of COVID-19 should follow local public health advice.

Travellers to mainland China (excluding Wuhan or Hubei Province), Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand should be aware if they develop symptoms on return to the UK that are compatible with COVID-19 they should self-isolate and contact one of the following:

  • NHS 111 (England and Wales)
  • 0300200 7885 (Northern Ireland)
  • NHS24 (Call 111) or your General Practitioner (Scotland)

For further information on this virus please see the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) page and News items

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