People who are travelling outside the UK may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases that are found in other parts of the world.
Please call in to the surgery to collect a Travel Questionnaire form or alternatively, download this PDF version. Please complete and hand back to the practice nurse who will inform and arrange any vaccinations you will need before you travel.
Some diseases you may be vaccinated against include:
- Cholera– a disease that causes diarrhoea and vomiting and is usually caught through infected water,
- Diptheria – a bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat,
- Hepatitis A – an infection that causes inflammation (swelling) of the liver,
- Hepatitis B – similar to hepatitis A, but caused by a different virus,
- Japanese encephalitis – a disease that is spread by mosquitoes; it is usually mild, but can develop into encephalitis (inflammation of the brain),
- Meningococcal meningitis – an infection of the meninges (the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord),
- Poliomyelitis (polio) – a highly infectious virus that can cause flu-like symptoms and is potentially fatal,
- Rabies – an infection of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) that is passed to humans through the bite of an infected animal,
- Tetanus – a severe but short-lived infection that is caused by bacteria,
- Tick-borne encephalitis – similar to Japanese encephalitis, but it is caught through the bite of an infected tick,
- Tuberculosis – a bacterial infection that affects the lungs,
- Typhoid fever – a potentially fatal bacterial infection that is caught through contaminated food or water, and
- Yellow fever – a serious viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes.
Keeping safe abroad
Blood-borne infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are more common in many parts of the world than in the UK. Some countries do not have the same standards of medical and dental hygiene that we have here. Tattooing and body piercing studios abroad may also not operate to the same hygiene standards as in this country.
This page provides information and advice to help you avoid the risks of blood-borne infection abroad.
HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, which can cause serious liver damage (cirrhosis and primary liver cancer), are all blood-borne viruses.
Avoiding the risks of infection
HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can be passed on through unprotected sex with an infected person or by contact with infected blood.
If you have sex with someone other than your usual partner, always use a condom. Condoms, used properly, protect against HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections.
It is a good idea to take a supply of condoms with you when you travel, if you think you may need them. Those bought in the UK should have the British Standard Kite mark or the European Standard CE mark.
Medical or Dental Treatment
If you do need medical or dental treatment while you are abroad:
- Make sure that any medical equipment is sterilised or is taken from a sealed pack,
- Only have medical treatment if it is essential – Doctors and Dentists in some countries may give injections or blood transfusions when they are not really needed. So make sure that a transfusion or injection is absolutely essential if offered,
- If you need a blood transfusion, ask for screened blood,
- Make sure that your travelling companions have read this page or are, at least, aware of your wishes.