Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

Mosquitoes are the vector of malaria which is spread at night. They also spread other diseases such as; Dengue fever, Yellow fever, Japanese B encephalitis, St Louis encephalitis and Bancrofti and Filariasis. Some of these diseases are spread by daytime biting mosquitos. The best advice is to avoid mosquito bites.

Insect Bite Avoidance

  •  To avoid bites wear clothing that covers as much of the body as possible.
  •  Wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers when going out at night.
  •  Protect feet with appropriate footwear.
  •  Use insect repellents on exposed skin.
  •  Insect repellents are available in various forms and concentrations.
  •  Many skin preparations are available, mostly containing di- ethyltoluamide  (DEET)
  • For those allergic to DEET, alternatives include Lifesystems Natural repellent.
  • Use a mosquito net when sleeping in unscreened accommodation. Mosquito nets should be impregnated with a long lasting insecticide. It can be helpful to practice erecting nets before departure.
  • Use air conditioning in your hotel room, if available.
  • If possible, avoid going out between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes spreading malaria commonly bite.
  • Use anti-mosquito insecticide dispensers (mains or battery operated that contain tablets impregnated with pyrethroids or burn pyrethroid mosquito coils in bedrooms at night) Electronic buzzer’s do not work.

MALARIA – REMEMBER MALARIA CAN BE A FATAL ILLNESS

It is essential to complete your course of malaria tablets to get full protection. Keep taking them when you get home as prescribed.

Initial symptoms of malaria can often be mild, difficult to recognise and can be confused with flu. If you develop flu-like symptoms once you return home, seek medical advice immediately and tell them you have recently returned from a malaria- risk zone. This will enable a speedy diagnosis and could potentially save your life.

We stock a full range of mosquito nets, insect repellents and other travel related equipment – ask your nurse for more details.

We have been informed by the manufacturers of the following vaccines that there will be a supply problem for the foreseeable future.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that supplies of Typhoid Vaccine and Combined Hepatitis A/ Typhoid vaccine will not be available until the second quarter of 2014. The delay in supply has been constrained due to a delay in a new manufacturing facility.GSK has had to concentrate production on critical childhood vaccines as prioritised by the World Health Organization.

Sanofi Pasteur MSD has reported a temporary interruption to supplies of Typhim Vi, Typhoid Vaccine. Supplies will become available from the end of February 2012.

How will this affect me?

Sussex Travel Clinic has adequate supplies of Oral Typhoid vaccine available and plenty of Hepatitis A vaccine in stock.

Hepatitis A and Typhoid are caught through consuming contaminated food and water. If you are travelling to a country where these diseases are common it is important you get vaccinated before you travel.

Please call 01273 749100 to book an appointment.

I was very saddened to hear of the awful tragedy over the weekend of Costa Concordia cruise ship that hit a reef and ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. The awful tragedy saw 6 people lose their lives with another 15 passengers and crew still unaccounted for .It was even more poignant for me as two months to the day my husband and I had been on that very ship taking a seven night cruise around the Mediterranean.

I can only imagine how frightening the whole episode must have been for those involved. I expect the mood would have upbeat on the ship on Friday evening before the tragedy. The ship would have departed earlier from the port of Civitavecchiaand been on its way to Savona. The passengers would have been enjoying a seven course Gala dinner by candlelight when the ship hit the reef. Luckily, most people where able to get off the stricken ship, however reports in the media are that the evacuation was chaotic with many passengers not having attended a muster safety drill. When we were on the ship our muster drill was on the day we arrived, however with so many nationalities on the ship, the drill was presented in several different languages and it was quite hard to hear what was being announced. The Costa Concordia is a very large cruise ship that carries up to 4000 passengers so I would imagine evacuation on a ship that size would always be difficult.

This tragedy highlights the importance of safety drills on both ships and planes. On cruise ships all passengers must attend a muster safety drill within 24 hours of departure. The purpose of a muster drill is to prepare passengers for safe evacuation in the event of an emergency while on board the ship and to familiarize passengers and crew with escape routes. In the case of the Costa Concordia many passengers are saying that they had not attended a safety drill when the ship got into trouble. Maybe lessons will be learnt from this and it will become law that safety drills are carried out before departure.

Our thoughts are with all of those involved and the families of those that died and are still missing.

 

Have you ever been evacuated from a ship or plane? Share your stories with us.

According to a recent report on Promed, the Department of Health in Australia is warning Western Australians against having tattoo’s abroad. This is in response to a confirmed case of HIV in an Australian where evidence of infection points to a recent tattoo received in Bali, Indonesia.

Having tattoo’s, body piercing and acupuncture abroad is not advised. While tattooists in the UK and Australia must comply with a code of practice and strict regulations, this is not always so in tattoo parlours overseas. Equipment used can be contaminated with blood and can pose a risk of contracting blood- borne infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. These blood – borne infections are transmitted through blood to blood contact or sexual activity. Hepatitis B can be prevented by having a course of vaccinations; however HIV and Hepatitis C are not vaccine preventable.

Advice for Travellers

  • Do not have body piercings, tattoo’s or acupuncture abroad.
  • If possible avoid having medical or dental treatment abroad,
  • Never have unprotected sex, Always practice safe sex. Make sure you take an adequate supply of condoms for your trip.
  • If you have to buy condoms abroad, make sure they are in date and carry a recognised quality mark.
  • Consider taking a Sterile Medical Kit with you if you are travelling to areas where medical facilities may be poor.
  • Do not take drugs. Never share drug equipment.
  • Do not share razors, toothbrushes or nail scissors.
  • Consider having a course of Hepatitis B vaccine before you travel, especially if you are planning a long stay trip or are going to remote locations.
  • Consider joining the Blood Care Foundation. The Blood Care Foundation is a charitable, not for profit organisation, The Foundation operates a Blood Care Programme, which is designed to provide screened blood, in an emergency, to its members in any part of the world.

 

In our third question and answer post we look at a common question we get asked when travelling to the Gambia.

Q: Do I need to take malaria tablets for a holiday to The Gambia?                             

 A. Yes malaria tablets would be recommended for a trip to The Gambia. Between October and December 2011 18 cases of malaria were imported into the UK and found to be associated with travel to The Gambia. 7 of these cases were in holidaymakers. Malaria is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and can be fatal. The preventative steps to be taken to avoid mosquito bites include using a Deet based insect repellent, sleeping under a mosquito net and covering up as much skin as possible with loose clothing.  Appropriate anti -malarial medicines can be obtained by consulting with your travel health nurse . You need to take these before, during and after travel. Your nurse will advise which tablets will be most suitable and explain any potential side effects. It is important to know that malaria is not entirely preventable so all travellers should seek immediate health advice if they become unwell following a holiday to a malaria risk area. Symptoms of malaria can be any of the following; diarrhoea, flu like symptoms headache and fever.

You should also ensure you have had all of the recommended vaccinations for travel to The Gambia.

To book an appointment at Sussex Travel Clinic call 01273 749100 or book ONLINE

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