We take care of all your travel health needs, offering a complete range of travel vaccinations, antimalarials and experts advice.
Tetanus is a serious condition caused by a bacterial toxin that affects your nervous system, leading to painful muscle contractions, particularly of your jaw and neck muscles.
Tetanus can interfere with your ability to breathe and can threaten your life.
The bacteria can survive for a long time outside the body, so is found everywhere in the environment, commonly in the soil and in the manure of animals such as horses or cows.
The tetanus vaccine is considered to be 100% effective in preventing tetanus.
Diphtheria is a highly contagious and potentially fatal infection that can affect the nose and throat and sometimes the skin. It's rare in the UK, but there's a small risk of catching it while travelling in some parts of the world.
It's spread by coughs and sneezes or through close contact with someone who's infected. You can also get it by sharing items, such as cups, cutlery, clothing or bedding, with an infected person.
- The South Pacific
- The Middle East
- Eastern Europe
- The Caribbean
Polio is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. For a small percentage of people, the polio virus causes temporary or permanent paralysis, which can be life threatening.
You can become infected with the polio virus if you come into contact with the feaces of someone with the infection, or with the droplets launched into the air when they cough or sneeze.
You can also get the infection from food or water that's been contaminated with infected feaces or droplets.
Polio is still found in many places. It's still a significant problem in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, and there's a potential risk of infection in other parts of Africa and some Middle Eastern countries.
There's no cure for polio, so it's important to make sure that you are fully vaccinated against it.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body. Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.
Typhoid fever is highly contagious. An infected person can pass the bacteria out of their body in their feaces or urine. If someone else eats food or drinks water that's been contaminated they can become infected with the bacteria and develop typhoid fever.
Typhoid fever is most common in parts of the world that have poor sanitation and limited access to clean water. You're also at risk of developing the infection if you visit Asia, Africa or South America.
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus that's spread in the feaces of an infected person. It's uncommon in the UK, but certain groups are at increased risk.
This includes travellers to parts of the world with poor levels of sanitation, men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs.
It's not usually serious and most people make a full recovery within a couple of months. In rare cases, it can be life threatening if it causes liver failure.
Hepatitis A is most widespread in parts of the world where standards of sanitation and food hygiene are generally poor, such as parts of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Far East, Middle East, Central and South America.
You can get the infection from:
- Eating food prepared by someone with the infection who has not washed their hands properly or washed them in water contaminated with sewage
- Close contact with someone who has Hepatitis A
- Less commonly, having sex with someone with Hepatitis A or injecting drugs using contaminated equipment
- Eating raw or undercooked shellfish from contaminated water
- Drinking contaminated water, including ice cubes
Hepatitis B is a virus, which is a major cause of serious liver disease, including scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.
You can get infected with hepatitis B if you have contact with an infected person's blood or other body fluids.
The hepatitis B vaccine is very safe. Other than some redness and soreness at the site of the injection, side effects are rare. It's an inactivated vaccine, so it cannot cause the infection itself.
Cholera is an infection that can cause severe diarrhoea.
You can catch cholera from:
- Drinking unclean water
- Eating food that's been handled by an infected person
- Eating food (particularly shellfish) that's been in unclean water
It's not found in the UK, but there's a risk of getting it while travelling in some parts of the world. It's mainly found in places without a clean water supply or modern sewage system, such as parts of Africa and Asia.
Japanese Encephalitis is a viral brain infection that's spread through mosquito bites.
It's most common in rural areas in southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and the Far East.
The virus is found in pigs and birds and is passed to mosquitoes when they bite infected animals. It cannot be spread from person to person.
A small number of people who become infected with Japanese encephalitis develop more severe symptoms as the infection spreads to the brain and may die as a result of the infection.
It's rare for travellers visiting risk areas to be affected by Japanese encephalitis. But the risk is greater if you're planning to visit rural areas, go hiking or camping.
Meningitis is observed worldwide. It's an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults.
Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly, causing life-threatening blood poisoning and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves. It is usually caught from people who carry these viruses or bacteria in their nose or throat but are not ill themselves.
Meningitis can be caused by a number of different infections, so several vaccinations offer some protection against it.
The Meningitis B vaccine is a new vaccine that offers protection against meningococcal group B bacteria, which are a common cause of meningitis in young children in the UK.
The Pneumococcal Vaccine offers protection against serious infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria, including meningitis.
The Meningitis C Vaccine offers protection against a type of bacteria called meningococcal group C bacteria, which can cause meningitis. The MMR Vaccine offers protection against measles, mumps and rubella.
Meningitis can sometimes occur as a complication of these infections.
The Meningitis ACWY Vaccines offers protection against 4 types of bacteria that can cause meningitis: meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y.
Rabies is a rare but very serious infection of the brain and nerves. It's usually caught from the bite or scratch of an infected animal, most often a dog.
Rabies is found throughout the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
It's not found in the UK, except in a small number of wild bats.
It's almost always fatal once symptoms appear, but treatment before this is very effective.
You should consider getting vaccinated against rabies if you're travelling to an area of the world where rabies is common, you plan to stay for a month or more, or there's unlikely to be quick access to appropriate medical care.
The vaccine should also be considered if you plan to do activities that could put you at increased risk of exposure to animals with rabies, such as running or cycling.
Tick Borne Encephalitis
Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE) is an infection that can affect the central nervous system/brain and is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected tick.
Ticks that spread it are found in parts of Europe and Asia, and some parts of the UK. Ticks live in forests and grassy areas.
You're more at risk of being bitten if you do activities such as hiking and camping. Not all ticks spread TBE. Even if you're bitten, the risk of getting seriously ill is low.
Consider having the TBE vaccine if you're visiting a country where the infection is common and you're planning to do outdoor activities when you get there.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious bacterial infection that affects the lungs and sometimes other parts of the body, such as the bones, joints, nervous system and kidneys.
It can also cause meningitis.
It is a serious condition, but it can be cured if it's treated with the right antibiotics.
TB is spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person.
Countries with high rates of TB include:
- West Africa – particularly Sub-Sahara and West Africa
- South Asia – including India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh
- The Western Pacific region – including Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines
- South America
Yellow Fever is a serious virus spread by mosquito bites.
There's no cure for yellow fever, but the symptoms can be treated while your body fights off the infection. Most people make a full recovery after 3 or 4 days.
The vaccine provides life long protection that can stop you getting it if you're travelling to an area where the infection is found.
If you're travelling to an area where yellow fever is found, try to avoid being bitten by mosquito’s, even if you have been vaccinated.
Yellow fever is found in:
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Parts of Central America
- Parts of the Caribbean
- Most of South America
Measles, Mumps and Rubella
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness. With cold like symptoms, a fever and rash, complications can lead to encephalitis (infection of the brain) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) which can lead to death especially in young children.
Mumps is a viral infection affecting the salivary glands, complicataions can lead to meningitis, deafness and orchitis (infection of the testicles).
Rubella is a viral infection which in pregnancy is a severe and potentially fatal illness for the unborn baby.
There is not specific treatment for any of these conditions but the MMR vaccine can prevent all three and is highly recommended before travelling to Asia, Africa and South America where infection is prevalent.