Malaria travel advice

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



-Muscle pains


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.

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.



Generally feeling unwell

Pain in the muscles


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.

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

Family travel vaccinations

Travel vaccinations for popular destinations

Why being vaccinated is more important than you think

Are you planning to travel outside the UK? Whether you’re travelling for business, a family holiday or urgent relief work, getting yourself vaccinated against deadly infections is vital to keep yourself safe while outside the UK.

Even the most common holiday destinations for example those in Europe and North America harbour hidden dangers through disease and infection that are not usually found in the UK.

Travelling to tropical countries in parts of Asia, Africa and South America are increasingly growing in popularity with those in the UK who desire to explore new sights and experience new cultures. However, many of these countries require comprehensive vaccination coverage to ensure protection from uncommon diseases. You may be in need of some important vaccinations, boosters or medication to keep you safe when visiting such hidden gems around the world.

Being vaccinated has been an integral part of the UK healthcare system for decades. For example, the childhood vaccination programme protects children from developing illness and diseases that could have a detrimental effect on their later life. Being vaccinated before your travel is no different. While the course of immunisation may not protect you 100% from acquiring disease or infection, the cover it provides is unmatched when compared to unvaccinated individuals; offering upwards of 90 to 95% effectiveness per vaccination. Ideally, vaccinations are more effective if they are administered or taken 2-3 weeks prior to your departure.

Popular destinations for 2020 - the common diseases and infections to keep in mind

Asia is the world’s largest and most populated continent. China and Vietnam have already established themselves as popular tourist spots in East Asia; from the Great Wall of China to the beautiful landscapes of Hanoi. The next decade will be even more tourist-heavy for these two countries and many more in Asia.

Those travelling to the Asian continent unvaccinated will commonly experience contact with diphtheria, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis. These severe infections are commonly associated with areas of lower sanitation and over-crowding. A 3-in-1 course against diphtheria, tetanus, polio – the 5-course Td/IPV vaccine are all available for those travelling to these high-risk areas. The Japanese encephalitis vaccination is recommended for Asian travel as mosquitoes are common in most countries across the continent. Extra precautions should however be taken, including anti-malarial tablets, barrier methods and mosquito nets.

Central America is another popular tourist destination. Within Central America, the two countries leading this newfound attraction are Mexico and Costa Rica. Mexico’s festivals, museums and art galleries make it a popular spot for European travellers to explore, while Cosa Rica is a biodiverse and picture-postcard paradise, perfect for those who want to wind down and relax.

Those travelling to Central America unvaccinated are at high risk of contracting a number of infections and diseases including hepatitis A, diphtheria and tetanus; commonly found in such tropically-diverse areas. Since there is no known cure for hepatitis A, the hepatitis A vaccination is highly recommended to avoid contracting the disease as the recovery process is slow and can lead to complications. A 5-course Td/IPV vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and polio is available for those travelling to areas of poorer sanitation and overcrowding. This is a similar situation to that of Asia given the hot climate and densely populated cities.

Mosquitoes can be found in Mexico during the months of April to November, commonly known as the mosquito season. There is no known vaccination form malaria spread from mosquito bites. For those travelling during mosquito season, precautions should be taken.

Rabies is a common disease and is almost always fatal unless a person is immunised against it. Native animals and domesticated pets are different in every continent, but rabies is a global issue and it shouldn’t be underestimated. The rabies vaccination is offered in 3 doses over 6 months therefore planning is vital to ensure you are properly inoculated, ready for your trip.

Are you planning to travel outside the UK? Whether you’re travelling for your business, for a family holiday or urgent relief work – being vaccinated against deadly infections is vital to keep yourself safe while outside the UK.

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