If your patients are heading for winter sun and going afar, maybe heading for adventure, here are a few for points to consider;

  • Ensure their vaccinations are up to date for area, region or countries
  • If they are looking to travel during the Christmas and New Year holidays book vaccinations early
  • Check the need for any malaria prophylaxis. Also remember if they are visiting friends and family or were born in an at risk of malaria country they may still need protection. Any resistance gained whilst living in the country will be reduced with time. Visiting ‘friends and family’ as a group account for 80% of malaria cases in the UK.
  • Ensure they understand the ABCD of bite protection. If you are not sure see our other malaria focused blogs (see other blogs on globalhealthtravelclinic.co.uk/blog or read the summary below. This is important to all, but may be the only protection offered to the very young.
    • Know the risk in the area you are visiting. Your Travel Clinic professional will advise.
    • Bite prevention. Avoid and prevent bites. Keep out of risky locations. Wear appropriate clothing, use insect repellents especially those containing appropriate levels of DEET or Picaridin. Use mosquito nets impregnated with DEET. Use room protection including window guards.
    • Take the correct dose of medicines recommended to prevent malaria for the required period including before, during and after travelling. Again, a travel clinic professional will advise.
    • If you suspect you may have contracted Malaria seek professional advice immediately. This can include flu like symptoms, high temperatures, diarrhoea and coughs. Late diagnosis can result in death!
  • Travel insurance limitations. Check your travel insurance policy. The Daily Telegraph highlighted exclusions travellers may not be aware of. M&S bank travel insurance policies included ‘safari trekking’ as long as it is an organised tour. The writer explained that they would be on an organised trekking tour in search of Gorillas. M&S explained the cover did not cover this. Although trekking was covered there were lots of unpublished exceptions in the policy.
    Additionally the Telegraph went on to explain that another exclusion was high latitude cover, by many other well-known travel insurance companies. The upper limit of cover can be 2,500 m which is below the summer snow line in the Alps and many trekking holidays in South America and Nepal. Beware and check your policy directly with you agent.
    The Telegraph offer to answer your travel related questions. Contact by e mail asktheexpert@telegraph.co.uk giving your name and query. They have 150 destination experts to answer all your questions.
  • Research their own travel health requirements.
    Visit the following NHS sites which are consumer friendly, our consultants can offer additional advice if required