Advice for those travelling to a Malaria hotspot

Malaria, what is it, and how does it transmit?

Malaria is a severe tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. If it isn’t diagnosed quickly and treated immediately, it can be fatal. A single mosquito bite is all it takes for someone to become infected.

Symptoms usually appear between 7 and 18 days after becoming infected, but in some cases, the symptoms may not appear for up to a year, or occasionally even longer.

Malaria can also be spread through blood transfusions and the sharing of needles, but this is very rare.

malaria travel

Malaria symptoms

-A high temperature of 38°C or above

-Feeling hot and shivery

-Headaches

-Vomiting

-Muscle pains

-Diarrhoea

Read more about the symptoms of Malaria here.

Symptoms of Malaria

Malaria - Ben's story

Ben was a 20-year-old photographer travelling to a remote part of Ghana to volunteer with a charity when he contracted Malaria.

One night, Ben had accidentally left his bed tent open and a mosquito managed to get in. Within one single bite, he had contracted Malaria. Before Ben was able to get a diagnosis, he began violently throwing up, experienced diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness and could barely walk straight. Within just five days, he was told he had a ‘complicated’ case of Malaria.

Upon getting discharged, Ben had to take 21 tablets a day to combat his illness. In his case, he reacted severely and ended up back at the hospital. Before eventually being able to fly home, but had lost 7kg and had immense mental impacts due to the trauma of fighting against his Malaria.

This demonstrates how quickly Malaria can take over your body if not treated correctly.

Hotspots for Malaria

Malaria is found in more than 100 countries, mainly in tropical regions of the world. Some Malaria hotspots include:

-Large areas of Africa and Asia

-Central and South America

-Haiti and the Dominican Republic

-Parts of the Middle East

-Some Pacific islands

Malaria is not found in the UK – it may be diagnosed in travellers who return to the UK from risk areas.

Malaria advice

Advice for those travelling to Malaria hotspots

We strongly urge travellers going to Malaria hotspots take the time to seek advice from our specialist travel clinic about malaria prevention ideally 4 to 6 weeks before travel, but even if you are travelling at short notice it is not too late to get protected. 

You should also continue taking your anti-malarial medication for up to four weeks upon returning home to cover the incubation period where the disease could still be present.

Malaria is a very severe illness that can get worse very quickly. It can even be fatal if not treated promptly.

It can also cause serious complications, including:

  • severe anaemia – where your red blood cells are unable to carry enough oxygen around the body, leading to drowsiness and weakness
  • cerebral Malaria – in rare cases, the small blood vessels leading to the brain can become blocked, causing seizures, brain damage and coma

Visit your nearest travel clinic today to talk about anti-malarial medication and further travel advice, alternatively, feel free to contact one of our travel experts for more information and advice regarding your trip or visit our dedicated malaria page here.

Pneumonia

What is the Pneumococcal Vaccination?

What is the Pneumococcal Vaccination?

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection that can cause severe illness and even death. It affects around one in 100 adults in the UK each year and is most common in the autumn and winter months.

Pneumonia is caused by an infection that aggravates the lungs, causing them to become inflamed and swell up with fluid. The most common cause of pneumonia is an infection due to bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus. It can be spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Unfortunately when your immune system is low (when fighting off a virus such as Flu or Covid-19) your body is particularly vulnerable to contracting Pneumonia and the results can be life limiting.

Symptoms of pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia can develop suddenly over 24 to 48 hours, or they may come on more slowly over several days.

Common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • a cough – which may be dry, or produce thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained mucus (phlegm)
  • difficulty breathing – your breathing may be rapid and shallow, and you may feel breathless, even when resting
  • rapid heartbeat
  • high temperature
  • feeling generally unwell
  • sweating and shivering
  • loss of appetite
  • chest pain – which gets worse when breathing or coughing

Less common symptoms include:

  • coughing up blood (haemoptysis)
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • wheezing
  • joint and muscle pain
  • feeling confused and disorientated, particularly in elderly people

The Pneumococcal vaccination service

We offer a private Pneumococcal Vaccination Service that protects against 23 of the most common strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. The key benefits of our Pneumococcal vaccination service are:

  • The vaccination enhances the immune response and provides long-lasting protection against pneumococcal pneumonia
  • The vaccination can be administered at any time of the year and can help reduce risk for travellers going to countries which have higher levels of pneumococcal infections.
  • The vaccination can be given at the same time as other vaccinations, such as the flu vaccination
  • People aged 65 and over and those with long term health conditions are eligible for a free NHS pneumonia vaccination, however Pneumonia can affect anyone, if you’re under 65 and haven’t had the Pneumonia vaccine please contact our pharmacist today.

For your Pneumococcal Vaccination, visit your nearest Travel Clinic today. Alternatively, feel free to contact one of our travel experts for more information.

Advice and tips for those travelling to a Hepatitis A hotspot

Advice for those travelling to a Hepatitis A hotspot

What is Hepatitis A, and how does it transmit?

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is offered to people who are at a high risk of infection or those travelling to countries with poor levels of sanitation.  In this blog, we are going to give advice for those travelling to a Hepatitis A hotspot.

Toms Story

“Last year, Tom travelled to Mexico, where he sampled a warm corn drink. He believes this was the trigger for him contracting Hepatitis A.

Before Toms diagnosis, he experienced an acute phase of a flu-like illness that lasted several days. Following his diagnosis, he lost 35 pounds, suffered irregular body temperature fluctuations, extreme fatigue, and severe itching that prevented him from sleeping through the night for almost two months.”

It was not necessary for Tom to have gotten as sick as he did. By getting vaccinated at your local Travel Clinic, you can protect yourself against Hepatitis A.

Symptoms;

Tiredness

Generally feeling unwell

Pain in the muscles

Sickness

Yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice)

High temperatures

Unnatural stools (faeces) and urine colours

Learn more about Hepatitis A Symptoms here.

Hepatitis A Hotspots

Hepatitis A occurs worldwide but is most common in developing countries with inadequate sanitation, limited access to clean water, and poor hygienic conditions. For example, Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East, and the Western Pacific. Most developed countries with good sanitary conditions and hygienic practices have lower rates of Hepatitis A; however, the risk may be increased in certain areas with unsteady sanitary conditions or due to consumption of imported contaminated food from global sources.

Advice for those travelling to a Hepatitis A hotspots

Before you go on your travels, book an appointment with our travel experts to discuss the need for a vaccine. Vaccinations are more effective if they are administered 2-3 weeks in advance of your departure. This should be followed by a second injection 6 to 12 months later. Moreover, the vaccine can be given on short notice if required.

If the vaccine is not administered, Hepatitis A infection can last upwards of 2-4 months. Also, in severe cases, 1 in 250 people may develop eventual liver failure, which can be life-threatening.

There is currently no known cure for Hepatitis A. If contracted, symptoms will naturally get better after a couple of months with the right amount of rest and recuperation. Vaccination is highly recommended to avoid contraction.

Visit your nearest Travel Clinic today. Alternatively, feel free to contact one of our travel experts for more information.

Family travel

Family Travel – planning a family holiday

Planning your family holiday is important

Planning a trip is difficult enough, but planning a trip for you and your family can be a nightmare. Budgeting, travel costs, time off and school terms are just some of the things you’ll need to think about before you can take that much-needed break. Preparation, scheduling, and backup planning are all things that need to be thought out and put in place to ensure you jet off with peace of mind and shared excitement that your holiday will be a success, especially with the advent of Coronavirus.

While COVID-19 has all but halted travel across the world, we will be back travelling in the near future, when that time comes, it is best that you prepare and get a heads up on some important tips and considerations. This blog will help you to make the right decisions when planning the perfect family holiday.

Destination matters - but so does the cost.

Planning starts with two considerations – choosing a destination and getting the best value for your money. Family trips are some of the most expensive times you’ll spend together, most of the cost comes down to the location that you pick and travel agency or holiday website you book with. 

Take the time to look around and find a location that suits you, for instance, a villa or cottage can give you seclusion and privacy, while a hotel can be a great way to meet local people and other vacationing families. 

You should base the holiday destination on what you want to get out of the trip -you shouldn’t choose the destination based on the weather, all-inclusive options etc.

Different parts of the world and most exotic countries harbour dangerous diseases and infections that require vaccinations. When you are abroad, taking extra precautions to avoid certain types of food, areas and water sources can be the difference between coming home feeling healthy and experiencing sickness, that could easily develop into something more serious in the future. Our handy guide on do’s and don’ts when travelling can be found here.

Travel agency

Travel during the off-season isn’t always a good idea

Travelling during a school holiday can be very expensive, so it may be tempting to take a trip during the term-time to get a quick and cheap holiday. Term-time holidays are rarely authorised by schools and can result in fines if you choose to go ahead with the trip. 

Planning a holiday with younger children will limit the availability of dates for you to take a break, but that shouldn’t discourage you from planning and finding a destination during a school holiday – keeping both your kids and the teachers happy.

Schedule a clinic visit and get the required vaccinations

Travel clinics offer an invaluable service to those going to a new country or abroad for the first time. If you choose to go on holiday without the proper advice and immunisation to common diseases and infections, then you may not only ruin your family holiday, but you may contract a disease that will affect your long-term health. 

 

Exposure to diseases can occur at any point and anywhere in the world. The reason such diseases are dangerous is that they are uncommon in the UK, so you will have no natural immunity built up against them when you travel abroad. In your planning, be sure to book an appointment with your local travel clinic, we recommend that this is done a few months before you are set to travel. 

Booking well in advance allows you to receive vaccinations in multiple doses, to give you the best protection possible before, during and after your trip. You can find your local travel clinic via our locations page.

Travel Clinic

Prepare written copies of your medical history

Bring your medical history with you is as important as packing your suitcase, it will allow you to display what vaccinations you’ve received and previous vaccinations, as well as your medical conditions and issues in writing. Some countries require written confirmation of certain vaccinations for the safety of you and their citizens, especially if it common in that part of the world.

Travel insurance is also important, be sure to bring along your EHIC card (European medical insurance card) if you are travelling to a European nation, you can add your family members onto your card if they are under 16 years of age. 

Alternatively, you can purchase travel insurance if you will be travelling to a destination that is covered by such options. 

Travelling as a family requires a lot more time, patience and thought – If you get everything just right in the planning stage, you’ll no doubt be in for a great time. If you are looking for professional consultation with quality advice – Travel Clinic Near Me is the team for you. 

Where do you want to travel with your family? Do you take planning seriously? Let us know in the comments or give us a follow on Instagram and Facebook. We would love to hear from you.

Travel Guidance - July 2020

Travel Guidance – July 2020

Coronavirus regulations and Governmental travel guidance mean that you must self-isolate for 14 days if you return to the UK from a country outside the common travel area.

The government is satisfied that it is now safe to ease these measures in England and has introduced travel corridor exemptions for some countries and territories.

Exemption rules for travel guidance

From July 10th 2020 you may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in England if you are returning from one of the countries listed below.

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • the Channel Islands
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Gibraltar
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • Montserrat
  • the Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Poland
  • Reunion
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Spain
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam

That is because these countries or territories are:

  • covered by the travel corridor exemption
  • within the common travel area (Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man)
  • British overseas territories

You will need to self-isolate if you were in a country that is not on the list in the 14 days before your return to England. This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route. This travel guide is set to be in effect or the foreseeable future. 

Example of when you would need to self-isolate

You are in a country that is not on the list below. You travel to a country that is on the list and you stay there for 4 days from the day after you arrive. You then travel to England.

When you get back to England, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days, not the usual 14 days. That is because you have spent 4 of the 14 days in a country that is on the list.

By following the travel guidance in this blog, you should have a better understanding of Coronavirus regulations. If you would like some more information or have a question for us, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or visit our Coronavirus page

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