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World Mosquito Day 2018 is on 20th August
This World Mosquito Day, make sure you are fully covered for your travels For over 120 years, World Mosquito Day has aimed to spread awareness of the risks mosquitos pose to our health and safety. The awareness day was first established back in 1897, when Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between mosquitos and the transmission of the malaria virus. Not only is the day a nod to the great work of Sir Ross and the scientists who have continued his work; it is also a chance for people to understand more about the risks of malaria and how to treat it. Many establishments also use it as an opportunity to fundraise for research into a malaria cure. In honour of World Mosquito Day 2018, let’s remind ourselves of the warning signs for malaria, and how you can prevent it. What you need to know about malaria Malaria is a serious disease, spread mainly in tropical locations where mosquitos thrive. A single bite from a mosquito can be enough to cause infection, and if the disease isn’t treated effectively it can be fatal. According to the 2014 World Malaria Report, there were around 198 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2013. This resulted in more than 584,000 deaths. The virus is caused by a kind of parasite known as Plasmodium. There are many different types of this parasite, but only five have been established to cause malaria. When an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasite passes into the bloodstream. Symptoms usually appear 7 to 18 days after infection, but can sometimes not appear for a year or more. These symptoms include: Sweats and chills A fever and high temperature Vomiting Muscle pain Diarrhoea Headaches The condition is found in over 100 countries around the world, most of which are tropical. If you are travelling, you should check whether your destination is a high-risk area. These include Central and South America Large parts of Africa and Asia Haiti The Dominican Republic Parts of the Middle East Certain Pacific Islands Our advice for travellers There is no doubt that malaria is a serious condition, but if it is diagnosed and treated properly virtually everyone can make a full recovery. Antimalarial medication is used to both treat and prevent the disease. The type of medication used and the length of treatment will depend on the kind of malaria you’ve contracted, where you caught it and how severe your symptoms are. Although treating malaria is possible, ideally you should be aiming to avoid the condition altogether. The first and most vital step to effectively preventing malaria is to get fully vaccinated before you travel. This allows you to enjoy your holiday without worry. Malaria vaccinations are available from Express Travel Clinic. An easy way to remember how else to prevent malaria is to follow the ABCD approach: Awareness of risk – find out whether your destination carries a high risk of malaria Bite prevention – use insect repellent, cover your arms and legs and hang a mosquito net to avoid bites Check whether you need to take medication – you should be sure of the dosage and type of medication before you travel Diagnosis – if you do experience any symptoms at all, seek immediate medical support, even up to a year after your return If you’re travelling this year, don’t hesitate. Ensure you are fully vaccinated and ready to enjoy your trip safely. Book with Express Travel Clinic today or pop in for a walk-in appointment.
Your holiday health and safety guide
Here’s what to do before, during and after your travels in order to stay safe Summer is finally here, and for many people this only means one thing – your travel plans are firmly on the horizon. A summer holiday acts as a well-deserved break for many of us, but when travelling to unfamiliar territory it’s vital that you take all the necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy. Not taking the appropriate health and safety measures before, during and after your holiday can not only put a dampener on your travels, but can also have potentially serious and long term consequences for your overall wellbeing. To help you ensure your safety abroad, here’s a helpful tick list to run through before you go, while you’re away and after you return back home. Before you go, you should… Get insured. Travel insurance will ensure that if something does go wrong, at least you’re covered for it. Find a plan which covers all the activities you want to complete. Research the area. Never land in a new country without having thoroughly research it first. You’ll need to know customs, laws and where all your nearby amenities are located. Tell someone where you’re staying. Whether it’s a parent, sibling, partner or friend, make sure you tell at least one person what your plans are, including addresses and phone numbers for each of your destinations. Get vaccinated. Visit a vaccination clinic at least 4-6 weeks before you travel to determine what vaccines you need to stay safe in your destination. While you travel, you should… Stay safe. This applies to all areas of your holiday, but particularly aspects such as water safety. Follow advice about local tides and don’t swim long distances alone, especially after drinking. Drink responsibly. We all like a drink on holiday, but remember your limits. You’re in an unfamiliar setting, so you need your wits about you. Always eat before you drink and consider alternating between alcohol and soft drinks. Be aware of blood-borne infections. Tattoos, drug use, body piercings and unprotected sex all put you at risk of blood borne infections like HIV and hepatitis B and C. It’s best to avoid these things altogether, but if you do plan on getting a tattoo make sure it is applied with a sterile, single use needle. Be hygienic. Be mindful of what you’re eating, including how the food has been prepared and where the water has come from. To avoid unpleasant conditions like diarrhoea, you should only drink bottled or pre-boiled water. Protect your skin. If your destination is a tropical one, sun protection is a must. Use an SPF sunscreen of at least 30 UVA/UVB and reapply frequently. You should also be sure to pack a hat and sunglasses. Practice safe sex. Protection is vital if you engage in sexual intercourse abroad. This will reduce your risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. Watch out for insects and ticks. Cover up and use repellents liberally If your destination suffers with ticks and mosquitos. These can cause painful bites and even spread diseases. After your return, you should… Seek medical attention if necessary. If you’re feeling at all under the weather upon your return home, visit your GP as soon as possible. Be sure to mention that you’ve been abroad and where exactly you’ve been. Finish any courses of medication you’re taking. Some medication requires you to continue taking it after you return home. If this is the case, don’t forget about your treatment just because you’re no longer overseas. For information, guidance and vaccinations for your travels, visit one of the four walk-in Express Travel Clinics located throughout the capital. Or book an appointment today by calling 0208 993 58 89 or clicking here.