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European Immunization Week is almost here
The annual awareness event starts on 23rd April 2018 Immunization is arguably the most important factor when it comes to staying healthy abroad. In fact, immunization currently prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths a year. This makes initiatives like European Immunization Week vital to travel health. European Immunization Week is a campaign used to promote the key message that immunization is a necessary precaution in preventing diseases and protecting lives. The slogan of this year’s European Immunization Week is Prevent. Protect. Immunize — a perfect summary of what effective immunization can do. The campaign will be celebrated from 23rd to 29th April 2018, and aims to spread the importance of immunization across the region. Prevent. Protect. Immunize: a region-wide initiative European Immunization Week aims to raise awareness of immunization’s importance, with the ultimate goal of increasing vaccination coverage across Europe. Even though more children are being immunized than ever before (86% of children under the age of one), there are still numerous fatalities globally which could be easily prevented by immunization. By promoting information on immunization among parents, caregivers, healthcare professionals, policy and decision-makers and the media, European Immunization Week hopes to increase the number of immunizations taking place and therefore save lives in the process. The campaign is led and coordinated by the World Health Organisation as well as its European Region division, and all Member States in the WHO European Region are invited to take part. It is also supported by several major regional and national partners, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Many national ministers and ambassadors have offered high-level support for the campaign, while on the regional level the initiative has been supported by WHO/Europe’s Patron, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. European Immunization Week has been organised in conjunction with several other important WHO regional activities, and World Immunization Week. Immunization is one of the most important factors to overall travel health Travelling to other countries can leave you vulnerable to an array of health concerns which you wouldn’t normally experience at home, and this is what immunization helps to protect travellers from. Travel vaccinations help to protect individuals from numerous conditions that can be dangerous or even fatal, such as yellow fever, meningitis, cholera and hepatitis A and B. Travel vaccinations are there to minimise your chances of becoming seriously ill when abroad. The need for vaccinations is largely dependent on where in the world you plan to travel. Whilst areas like North America, Australia and Northern and Central Europe are unlikely to require vaccinations before travel, other areas like South and South East Asia and South America require vaccinations in order to ensure your health and safety abroad. Some countries, like Saudi Arabia, even refuse entry without proof of vaccination. Vaccination should be a staple part of your travel preparations, so be sure to research your intended destination thoroughly to see which immunizations you’ll need to receive. The NHS recommends that you receive advice about the necessary vaccinations at least eight weeks in advance of your travels, as many vaccinations should be given well in advance. So make sure you don’t leave your vaccinations too late. Express Travel Clinic have four walk-in travel clinics located throughout the capital, conveniently situated to administer vital vaccinations without appointment. Express Travel Clinic can help you receive the necessary vaccinations for your travels. Contact our team today by calling 0208 993 58 89, or click here to book and appointment.
Yellow Fever cases are on the rise, so here’s what you need to know
If you’re travelling this spring, be sure you take all of the necessary precautions Back in 2016, a yellow fever outbreak occurred in Brazil. This lasted until September 2017, when the outbreak was at last declared over. However, since December 2017 there has been a significant rise in reported human cases and cases in non-human primate epizootics (cases in monkeys). This has resulted in a resurgence in yellow fever virus circulation, particularly in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. What’s more, the numbers of reported cases of yellow fever in unvaccinated travellers who have travelled to at-risk areas in Brazil have also risen recently. On 22nd January 2018, reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed a case of yellow fever in an unvaccinated returning traveller who was currently in the Netherlands, but who had visited Atibaia and Mairiporã in São Paulo state from 19th December 2017 to 8th January 2018. Another confirmed case of yellow fever was reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on 14th February 2018, this time in an unvaccinated French traveller who visited Brumadinho in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. And just five days later, on 19th February 2018, the Ministry of Health of Argentina reported a confirmed yellow fever case in an unvaccinated traveller who visited Ilha Grande in Rio de Janeiro state and Ilhabela in São Paulo state. Then, on 20th February 2018, two fatal cases of yellow fever were confirmed in Chilean travellers who had visited Ilha Grande. A third case was also reported to have been hospitalised. These examples tell us just how important it is to be aware of the risks of conditions like yellow fever, as a reminder that we should all practice caution and do whatever we can to avoid this potentially fatal affliction. How to stay safe when travelling to at-risk areas Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, meaning it is important to take all possible steps to prevent an insect bite when visiting at-risk countries. These precautions include packing protective clothing, insect repellents, insecticide-treated bed nets, plug-in insecticides and a first aid kit. It is also advisable to stay indoors during twilight and after dark. Once contracted, yellow fever is not curable. This means that it is incredibly important to do everything you can to avoid suffering from the infection. Preventative measures are the best course of action for anybody travelling to at-risk areas such as Brazil. You should research your destination thoroughly, checking for the exact level of risk you will be facing. This will help you understand which vaccinations you will be required to receive before you travel. Once you know, book an appointment to receive any necessary vaccinations with plenty of time to spare. As a traveller, it is also vital that you know what warning signs to look out for. Symptoms of the condition will usually develop within three to six days after becoming infected. Common symptoms of yellow fever include a high temperature which can reach 38 degrees centigrade, headaches, muscles aches (especially in the back and knees), sensitivity to light, loss of appetite, dizziness, red eyes, red face, red tongue, nausea, vomiting or both. It is also common to experience jaundice (a yellow tinge to the skin and eyes) hence the condition’s name. Express Travel Clinic is a registered Yellow Fever centre, so we can help ensure you stay safe to enjoy your travels. Contact the team at Express Travel Clinic today by calling 0208 993 58 89 or click here to book an appointment today.