Foreign Travel and Special Risk Groups
The practice nurses offer foreign travel advice (see below) and immunisations. Please make an appointment with the practice nurse approximately eight to ten weeks before departure. Please give details of your travel destination to the receptionist when making your appointment. The practice nurses will give you information leaflets relevant to your destination when you attend the clinic.
Payment will be required for some travel vaccinations. Please follow link to Charges for Non NHS Work for vaccine charge.
Ensure you’re up to date with the MMR jab if travelling to Romania, Italy and Germany this Christmas
Public Health England is urging anyone planning to travel to Europe this winter to make sure they are up to date with their MMR vaccines. Unvaccinated people travelling to Romania, Italy and Germany, where there are currently large measles outbreaks, are at particularly high risk. Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and can sometimes lead to serious complications. The MMR vaccine is available to all adults and children who are not up to date with their two doses. It can be given from six months of age before travel to a high risk country.
Recent measles outbreaks in Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and Surrey are all linked to the ongoing large outbreaks in Europe. The UK recently achieved WHO measles elimination status and so the overall risk of measles to the UK population is low. However the ongoing measles outbreaks in Europe remain a challenge and as we have seen with the recent linked outbreaks in England, we will continue to see cases in unimmunised individuals with limited onward spread in communities with low MMR coverage and in age groups with very close mixing.
Advice For Travellers
Nobody wants to think about getting sick on holiday, but by packing a few essential items and taking some precautions, you can reduce the possibility of illness and minimise the inconvenience if minor problems do arise.
Before You Go
Please make an appointment with the practice nurse at least eight weeks before departure giving details of your travel arrangements. The practice nurse will give advice about recommended immunisations, how soon they need to be given and if any further appointments are needed. Payment will be required for some travel vaccinations.
If you are taking regular medication, discuss with your doctor or practice nurse any special arrangements or precautions. If you have a condition such as asthma, which may occasionally require medication, be sure to take an emergency supply with you, and carry it in your hand luggage. Always make sure you have enough of any prescription medicines.
Pack a small first aid and holiday health kit containing:
- Travel sickness tablets
- Paracetamol, including paracetamol and/or ibuprofen syrups for children
- Sunscreen - SPF 15 or higher (SPF 16 or higher for small children)
- Sunburn treatment, eg calamine
- Plasters and antiseptic wipes
- Oral rehydration solution; anti-diarrhoea
- Indigestion remedy, eg antacid
- Insect repellent
- Water purification tablets
- Condoms/other contraceptives
- Antihistamine tablets
- In some developing countries or where medical supplies may not be reliable, it may be wise to include sterile needles and syringes, dressings and suture materials
All these items should be available from your chemist.
Check on the quality of drinking water. Where there is a risk of food or water-borne disease, it is wise to eat food that is freshly cooked, or fruit that can be peeled. Avoid drinking the local water supply or raw food washed in it. Remember, this includes ice in drinks and cleaning your teeth. Bottled water is usually available in tourist areas; choose carbonated where possible as this cannot easily be filled from a tap! Water purification tablets can be used if you are ‘roughing it’.
Diarrhoea and vomiting can ruin a holiday. Apart from eating and drinking wisely, be prepared - take antidiarrhoeals with you. However, these are not suitable for children or if the diarrhoea contains any blood. Antidiarrhoeals will alleviate the symptoms and electrolyte solutions will replace essential salts. If you are afflicted, try to replace fluid loss with bottled water and remember, as children dehydrate more quickly than adults, it may be wise to call for help.
It is advisable to use effective insect repellents wherever there are mosquitoes. Apart from the irritating bites they can inflict, mosquitoes may also carry diseases - including malaria and yellow fever - in countries where contact with these diseases is a risk.
Beware of the sun! Use a high factor sun screen particularly in the first few days of exposure. Small children burn very easily and need adequate protection from a total sun block applied frequently. Keep children in the shade as much as possible and provide plenty of water.
In hot climates drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. If you are not passing water regularly, you are not drinking enough.
On Your Return
If you are ill and need to see your doctor, don’t forget to mention that you have recently travelled abroad.
If you receive medical treatment abroad, tell your own doctor on your return.