Latest Blog Posts
As World Mosquito Day approaches, the fight to end malaria continues
World Mosquito Day 2019 takes place on Tuesday 20th August World Mosquito Day is an annual event that commemorates the findings of British doctor Sir Ronald Ross, back in 1897. Ross was responsible for the discovery that female mosquitoes can transmit malaria between humans. Nowadays, World Mosquito Day is used as an opportunity to spread awareness about malaria, including the areas where you are most at risk and ways to prevent the condition from impacting you. The fight against malaria goes on Since Ross’s discovery more than a century ago, the number of people diagnosed with malaria has reached into the billions. In 2017 alone, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria across 87 countries, but 90% of these cases occurred within sub-Saharan Africa. Today, despite all the technological and medicinal advances we have made, it remains the case that a child dies of malaria every two minutes. Malaria is caused by parasites which are transmitted to people via the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitos. Symptoms can take a while to occur – 10-15 days after being bitten typically – and initial symptoms are often mild. These include headaches, fever and chills. However, if left untreated, some strands of malaria can progress to severe illness and even death. There are five species of the Plasmodium parasites which can lead to malaria in humans. Two of these species pose the greatest threat, and these are P.falciparum and P.vivax. P.falciparum accounts for roughly 99.7% of malaria cases in the World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region, and most cases across the globe. Meanwhile, P.vivax is responsible for almost three quarters of malaria cases in the WHO Region of the Americas. All travellers should be aware of malaria Malaria is a very real threat to the health and wellbeing of travellers, so if you’re planning on jetting off further afield in the coming months, you need to be aware of the condition in order to effectively protect yourself against it. In total, malaria has been found in more than 100 countries, so it is important to research your destination closely. It is mainly found in tropical regions, and these largely include: Large areas of Africa and Asia Central and South America Haiti and the Dominican Republic Parts of the Middle East Some Pacific Islands If any of these locations are places you are planning to visit, it is vital that you take the necessary steps in order to protect yourself from contracting malaria. This includes reducing your risk of being bitten with mosquito nets and sprays, and protecting yourself against infection with antimalarial medication. The NHS offers a handy ABCD approach to protecting yourself against malaria, making it easy to remember. The ABCD approach to malaria is: A: Awareness of Risk — research your destination and find out your risk of contracting malaria while you’re away. Do this before you travel. B: Bite prevention — avoid mosquito bites by covering your arms and legs with light layers, sleeping below an insecticide-treated mosquito net and spraying insect repellent. C: Check where you need to take malaria prevention tablets — Seek out the right medication for you, and make sure you finish the course you are given. D: Diagnosis — If you develop any malaria symptoms, seek immediate medical advice. This is true for up to a year after you return from travelling. Be smart about travelling and make sure you do everything to protect yourself before you jet off. Safe and effective malaria medication is available from our online consultation service at Express Pharmacy. Get in touch today by calling 0208 993 5889 or pop in and see us at one of our London clinics.
19. Aug 2019
posted by Tim Deakin
What’s the difference between Hepatitis A and B?
Understanding these conditions puts you in a better position when it comes to protecting yourself from them Hepatitis can be one of the most difficult viral diseases to get your head around, seeing as there are five different forms of the condition. While some forms of hepatitis are more common and therefore get more attention than others, each form of hepatitis has its own set of symptoms, risks and causes surrounding it. So it’s important to understand what these forms of hepatitis do, how they are transmitted and the steps you can take to protect yourself from them. This is particularly true for travellers who plan on exploring parts of the world where hepatitis is a greater risk, like South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. To help expand your knowledge of the condition, we’ve put together this handy guide explaining the difference between hepatitis A and B. What is hepatitis? Hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver. Your liver can become inflamed for a number of reasons, from injury to too much alcohol, but it can also occur as the result of a reaction to bacteria or a virus. The five most common kinds of the hepatitis virus are A, B, C, D and E. Some forms of hepatitis can lead to severe, lifelong afflictions like fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver failure or even liver cancer, so avoiding hepatitis is extremely important. Damage to the liver can reduce its ability to function normally, making it harder for your body to filter toxins out. Hepatitis A vs. Hepatitis B Both hepatitis A and B impact the health of your liver, yet the viruses differ greatly. Hepatitis A is primarily caused by poor sanitation and personal hygiene, meaning it can be spread through food or drink which has been contaminated. This is often the result of the area having little access to waste management and clean water systems. On the other hand, hepatitis B is blood-borne pathogen, meaning it is primarily transmitted via blood-to-blood contact with an infected person. Unlike hepatitis A, you cannot contract hepatitis B through sharing food or holding hands with an infected person. Hepatitis A is an acute infection, staying in the body for a short amount of time and typically resulting in a full recovery within a few weeks. People infected with hepatitis A generally develop symptoms within four weeks of exposure, and these symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and dark urine. Meanwhile, hepatitis B begins as a short-term infection but can progress into a chronic or even long-term condition. In many cases, there are no obvious symptoms for hepatitis B, but it is the world’s leading cause of liver cancer and can lead to serious liver-related diseases such as cirrhosis. Hepatitis A rarely cause lasting liver damage, but in a small number of cases it can lead to acute liver failure called fulminant hepatitis. Preventing hepatitis Both hepatitis A and B can be avoided when you protect yourself with vaccinations. The hepatitis A vaccination is given in two doses over the course of six months, while the hepatitis B vaccination is given in three doses over the same period. If you are travelling to any of the areas associated with a high risk of hepatitis, it is absolutely vital that you get the necessary vaccinations before you go. This will offer significant protection from the condition, and could even save your life. Both the Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccination are available from Express Travel Clinic. Call us now on 0208 993 5889 or click here to book online and get protected for your travels.
24. Jul 2019
posted by Tim Deakin