The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities abroad, length of stay and general health of the traveller. It is recommended that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.
Measles occurs worldwide and is common in developing countries. The pre-travel consultation is a good opportunity to check that you are immune, either by previous immunisation or natural measles infection.
- Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date – including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
- Courses or boosters usually advised: none.
- Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis B; Rabies; Tetanus; Tick-borne Encephalitis.
- No yellow fever vaccination certificate required for this country.
Notes on the diseases mentioned above
- Hepatitis B: spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.
- Rabies: spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also 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. 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.
- Tick-borne Encephalitis: spread mainly through the bite of an infected tick. Risk is higher during the warmer months, for those exposed outside in forests, woods, and grassy areas (eg forestry workers, campers, hikers).
- Malaria not normally present unless the illness was contracted abroad.
UN warning that different species of mosquito found in Southern Europe could act as carrier for the disease.
The disease has been spread in Brazil and the South America by the Aedes aegyptii mosquito – which is rare in Europe.
But the World Health Organisation warned that Europe could suffer outbreaks of the incurable virus.
It is now believed that a type of Aedes mosquito commonly found in southern Europe – Aedes albopictus – could spread the disease.
Countries in Europe where Aedes Albopictus has been found include Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.