Travel Advice: Don’t forget your jabs

Vaccinations can add up to €200 to the cost of a long-haul holiday, but they should not be ignored

Yellow fever is a serious disease spread by mosquitoes. It affects the liver and kidneys and can be fatal. It can be prevented by vaccine

Yellow fever is a serious disease spread by mosquitoes. It affects the liver and kidneys and can be fatal. It can be prevented by vaccine

 

A recent outbreak of Yellow fever in Angola is a reminder of how important it is to get the necessary vaccinations when travelling long haul. Access to long-haul travel is so easy now that sometimes we can forget to prioritise our health.

Yellow fever is a serious disease spread by mosquitoes. It affects the liver and kidneys and can be fatal. It can be prevented by vaccine.

It occurs in sub-Saharan and South and Central American countries.

Many countries will not allow you to enter without having evidence that you have been vaccinated against it, especially if you have been travelling through a place where it is endemic.

The list of possible diseases, fevers and illnesses you could potentially acquire when travelling could put you off leaving the house. Preparation for long-haul travel should begin weeks before your trip.

Consult your doctor or a specialist clinic such as the Tropical Medical Bureau (tmb.ie), or the Travel Health Clinic (travelhealth.ie), well in advance of your trip, at least four to six weeks.

Some vaccinations may take a little time to immunise you. There is a list of recommended vaccinations on both those websites.

Malaria treatment is not a vaccination but a preventative measure. Depending on which type of treatment is recommended, you may need to start a few weeks before your journey and continue it on your return.

Prevention while travelling is also important and you should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Zika virus is the most recent example of a mosquito- borne virus but not the only one.

Vaccinations can add to the cost of your trip by as much as €200, depending on which you need. It is also recommended that you have a post-trip consultation, especially if you have been travelling in out of the way and rural areas.

jscales@irishtimes.com

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