Setting off overseas can be an exciting, adventurous and even life changing experience but.....don't forget to be prepared! Make sure you're going to stay healthy in country by getting the right jabs and potions to keep you in tip top shape for all those adventures!
So you’ve planned your perfect 6 month working abroad trip and every 2 months you’ll be moving on to a different country. You’ve got everything sorted, your working Visas have been approved, you’ve been making lists of what to take for a month already and you just can’t wait to get on the plane. But before you do (preferably 9 weeks before), don’t forget to check with your doctor about travel vaccinations and pills. Whilst they often come with some short-term pain and various side effects, they may just save your life.
Here is what you need to do!
We are the travel experts, your customer support. We are able to answer all your travel queries your project, your accommodations, what you will be doing, what you will be eating, how to get your visa, information about our team in country- we however are not doctors, we are not experts when it comes to what inoculations to get before you take off!
We are happy to provide you with a list of recommended and sometimes recommended inoculations for the countries which you will be visiting- but this list is open-ended. In country situations are changing on a daily basis and you- the traveller will benefit greatly from doing some research.
Here is how you need to do it!
- Make an appointment with your travel doctor
- Bring two important documents- our recommendations and your day to day itinerary, as found on the website. This will help the doctor know the exact details of where you will be travelling in your destination country.
- Do your own research- go with the knowledge and questions necessary to get a full detailed plan from your doctor
- Consider the doctors recommendations carefully. Inoculations can be expensive, but the consequence of not getting them, can be much more detrimental.
- Make the decision that is right for you and set up a plan to get the needle poking.
Here are some websites to start off your research!
World embassies- http://www.worldembassyinformation.com/
World Health Organization - http://www.who.int/countries/en/
Provides information on healthcare costs for Brits abroad should medical attention be needed.
Important Vaccinations to Keep in Mind!
Listed below is a rough guide to some of the diseases you could contract whilst abroad; with death commonly featuring as an outcome, it emphasizes just how important that doctor’s appointment is! As with anything medical, always seek further advice from a doctor or qualified medical professional.
Found mainly in South America, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East and Africa, can be fatal due to dehydration resulting from the bacteria’s effect to cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be caught through contaminated food, particularly shellfish, and water. Vaccination for adults requires 2 doses which must be one week apart and should be given a week before departure.
Contracted by contact with human faeces, generally through contaminated food and water. The high risk countries for catching this virus that causes the liver to inflame and jaundice are; the African, Indian, central and South American subcontinents as well as the Far East and parts of Eastern Europe. Vaccination should be given 2 weeks before departure. A combined Hepatitis A and B vaccination is available. As is a combined Hepatitis A and Typhoid injection.
Also a viral infection of the liver which can be fatal. It causes jaundice, flu-like symptoms, as well as liver failure in some cases. Areas where Hepatitis B is present are split into 3 areas of risk; high risk areas include sub-Saharan Africa, most of Asia and the Pacific islands; medium risk areas are the Amazon, southern parts of Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian sub-continent; and those areas at low risk include the majority of Western Europe and North America. The disease is contracted through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids during sexual intercourse, blood-to-blood contact (e.g. by infected blood entering a wound, or by sharing contaminated needles or other equipment in drug using), by an infected mother passing it to her baby, or occasionally, by a human bite from an infected person. Immunisation is administered in 3 doses; the second dose is given one month after the first dose, and the final dose is given five months later. Once the course has been completed and a blood test has proved your immunity, you will be protected for life. A combined Hepatitis A and B vaccination is available.
Passed on to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. Present only in the Far East, South-East Asia and tropical North-East Australia, it is usually a mild illness without symptoms, but in some cases can cause brain inflammation, leading to permanent brain damage and even death. Vaccination should ideally be administered one month before travel and is given in 3 doses.
Found in Africa, South and Central America, Asia and the Middle East, Malaria is a tropical disease passed on to humans by mosquitoes. Symptoms usually appear 10 days-4 weeks (but can take up to a year) after the initial bite and include fever, chills, generally feeling unwell, muscular aches, headaches, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and even death. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, recovery can be a fairly quick process. Prevention treatment can also be bought in the form of anti-malarial tablets, although these are not 100% effective so precautions must also be taken e.g. using mosquito nets and insect repellents. The course of tablets must be started up to 3 weeks before departure depending on the type being used and should continued to be used both when abroad and for a further 4 weeks after your return.
Whilst this is commonly vaccinated for in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand in a preventative manner, it is advisable to check with your doctor that you have had this vaccination. The common preventative immunisation programmes also do not cover all strains of the disease and so you may need a further injection. The 3 strains not always covered in the common programmes are A, W and Y and are usually found in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Northern India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Saudi Arabia. If you are attending the Hajj (Mecca) or Umrah pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia then you will need proof of vaccination against these strains of the disease. Symptoms of the disease include headache, fever, vomiting, neck stiffness and joint pains, drowsiness or confusion, rash of reddish purple spots or bruises and discomfort when looking at bright lights. Vaccination against all strains (expect B, for which there is no globally used vaccine) should be administered 3 weeks before departure.
Caused by a virus and contracted through contact with human faeces, generally from contaminated food and water and person to person contact. In the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand (and most other countries) this is immunised against in a preventative method but you may require a booster dose so check with your doctor. Polio, particularly common in Indian subcontinents and sub-Saharan Africa, often has no symptoms and those who have been infected are often unaware of it. However, in some cases it can cause paralysis and difficulty in breathing.
A viral infection spread by the bite of an infected animal (commonly a dog) spreading the virus on in their saliva. It is commonly a fatal disease, with severe symptoms; extreme thirst, spasms, fear of water (hydrophobia), madness, and paralysis; but can be treated straight after a bite to reduce the risk of the disease developing. Common signs that an animal has the disease are denoted by extreme aggressive behaviour and foaming or drooling at the mouth. With the exception of the British Isles, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and Antarctica, Rabies is found in most countries, and all regions of the world are affected. Preventative vaccination against the disease is generally a precautionary measure for travellers, where medical attention may not be available, however if you are bitten or scratched by an animal when abroad you should seek immediate medical aid.
Spread by bacteria in the soil and manure is most commonly contracted through an open wound or cut that has come into contact with contaminated soil or dirt. Commonly known as “lockjaw” it can be a fatal disease as it affects the body’s nervous system causing severe and painful muscle spasms, often meaning that the victim is unable to open their mouth or swallow. The bacteria can be found worldwide but is commonly vaccinated against in both the UK and USA during childhood. Check with your doctor to see if you need a booster dose or have not received the injection.
Commonly passed on to humans through bites from infected ticks, but can also be contracted from unpasteurised milk. Present in heavily forested areas in Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the former Soviet Union and some parts of China it causes brain inflammation, flu-like symptoms and even death. Those who camp, hike or walk in these areas during the spring and summer months are most at risk. Vaccination to last for 3 years is administered in 3 doses with 1-3 months in between the first and second dose and the final dose is given 5-12 months later. However, short term vaccinations are available.
Causing fever, diarrhoea, and a serious illness, Typhoid can be fatal and is often as a result of poor sanitation and personal hygiene. The bacteria can be contracted through contact with human faeces, generally from contaminated food and water and person to person contact. Commonly found in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, it should be vaccinated against one month before departure. The vaccine however is not 100% effective, therefore care should be taken over water, food and personal hygiene e.g. only drink bottled water, checking that the seal has not been broken and only eat peel-able fruit that has not been peeled. A combined Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccine is available if required.
Found only in South America and sub-Saharan Africa, it is a viral disease spread by mosquito bites that can cause fever, headache, vomiting, jaundice, bleeding, and can be fatal. Some countries require a certificate of vaccination to allow entry into the country; this is valid 10 days post vaccination and lasts for 10 years. Vaccination should be administered 10 days before departure (or 20 if you require a valid certificate).
There are more! Do you research and go prepared!