Jan. 30, 2014
Are you planning an overseas trip this year? Don't let illness ruin your trip - plan ahead and make sure you are taking all the sensible precautions to stay well. Lots of the vaccine pre-ventable diseases require not one but a course of vaccinations over weeks or months, so allow as much time as possible to ensure you can be protected. For example, rabies is really common in Asia, and children are particularly at risk of being bitten by rabid dogs, monkeys and bats. The vaccination programme is for 3 vaccines at 0,8 and 28 days and then is fol-lowed up by a booster 6 months later. No one is known to have survived rabies without ei-ther vaccination or treatment. However, the treatment with rabies immunoglobulin is not readily available in most parts of the world, and an animal bite would potentially justify a medical evacuation. Think about that before you head off to Bali or Vietnam. You may have heard of malaria, but have you heard of other mosquito spread diseases? Japanese Encepha-litis (a nasty illness that causes brain swelling and has a very high death rate) is endemic in many parts of Asia (not just Japan), and if you are spending over a month in some rural areas it is worth considering vaccination. Dengue Fever is another mosquito spread disease, but this one is not preventable by vaccine and avoidance of mosquito bites is essential. If you are planning to travel do go to the Centre of Disease Control website (just google 'cdc') and look up your destinations prior to coming in, so you have an understanding of what is re-quired. The Medplus team can help you with most travel vaccinations (other than Yellow Fever) , malaria prevention and can help you prepare first aid kits if you are heading off to remote areas. Please ensure you tell the reception staff if this is the reason for your appoint-ment, as depending on the complexity of your travel plans you may need to schedule a longer appointment than normal, plus an appointment with the nurse for the vaccines. We will email you some information prior to your appointment and ask you bring in a completed questionnaire about your destinations and duration of time in each.