Vaccinations - Plan in advance!
Please make your appointment well in advance of your departure date to ensure that your vaccinations are completed in good time.If you leave your vaccination schedule too late, we may not be able to provide you with a full course of vaccinations. If you are unable to make an appointment with the surgery at a time convenient for you, there are some travel clinics which offer appointments, including evenings and/or Saturdays.
Leafield Clinic, 107 – 109 King Lane Leeds LS17 5BP Tel: 0113 295 1723
Masta Clinic, Moorfield Road, Yeadon, LEEDS, LS19 7BN Tel: 0113 238 7566
Important things to consider
The first appointment is for 20 minutes and if appropriate your first vaccinations may begin on that day.
Your second appointment for further vaccinations will be made when you attend the first appointment.
We cannot give any vaccinations if you are unwell on the day of your appointment. If so, please cancel your appointment and make a new one when you are well again.
After your first appointment subsequent visits are for vaccinations only so if you change your travel plans you will be asked to book a new appointment so you can be given additional advice.
Ensure your exact travel locations and plans are organised before you attend your first appointment, otherwise it is impossible to advise which vaccinations and malaria prevention you will need.
There is no charge for information and advice provided in our Travel Clinic. However not all vaccinations and medication are provided free by the NHS. If there are charges the nurse will advise you, or you can ask at Reception. If you need a private prescription for antimalarial medication there will be a charge for this.
For current surgery vaccination charges, please click here
The following section is intended to provide guidance for planning your foreign travel from a health perspective. It is more relevant to people taking extended travel breaks, and going to remote areas, than those taking package holidays. The information contained within these pages and the link sites mentioned should be regarded as a guideline rather than a definitive statement, as the area of travel medicine is constantly changing.
Make sure you have full medical insurance covering all activities you are likely to take part in. Make sure it is a repatriation policy.
Look up information, medical and otherwise on the area you will be travelling to and draw up a list of items you need to take (including medical kit). Be aware of the medical conditions you are likely to encounter and read up on them.
Make sure you have adequate supplies of any regular or intermittent medications you take. Have a full dental check up a couple of months before you go.
Put together a medical kit appropriate to the nature of your trip
KEEPING HEALTHY WHEN TRAVELLING and staying abroad
It is sensible on any long haul flight to:
Be comfortable in your seat
Exercise your legs, feet and toes while sitting every half an hour or so and take short walks whenever feasible. Upper body and breathing exercises can further improve circulation. (Further information can be obtained from the Department of Health web site with more specific advice and information on travel-related deep vein thrombosis).
Drink plenty of water and be sensible about alcohol intake which in excess leads to dehydration.
Flight socks can be bought at most chemists.
Diseases can be caught from drinking contaminated water (or swimming in it). Unless you KNOW the water supply is safe where you are staying, ONLY USE (in order of preference)
1. Boiled water
2. Bottled water or canned drinks – check that the lids have seals.
3. Water treated by a sterilising agent.
This includes ICE CUBES in drinks and water for CLEANING YOUR TEETH
Food Preparation and Nutrition
Contaminated food is the most common source of many diseases abroad.
Only eat well cooked fresh food. Avoid leftovers and reheated foods.
Ensure meat is thoroughly cooked.
Eat cooked vegetables, avoid salads.
Only eat fruit you can peel.
Never drink unpasteurised milk.
Avoid ice-cream and shellfish.
Avoid buying food from street vendor's stalls.
Two phrases to help you remember: COOK IT, PEEL IT, OR FORGET IT and WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT
Sunburn and heat-stroke cause serious problems in travellers. Both are preventable – to avoid, use the following precautionary guidelines:
Increase sun exposure gradually, 20 minutes limit initially
Use sun blocks of appropriate adequate SPF strength. Reapply often and always after swimming and washing.
Read manufacturer's instructions.
Wear protective clothing – sun hats, etc.
Avoid going out between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
TAKE SPECIAL CARE OF CHILDREN and those with pale skin/red hair.
Drink extra fluids in a hot climate.
Be aware that alcohol can make you dehydrated.
Keeping safe and maintaining personal safety
Guidelines for avoiding swimming and traffic accidents
Avoid alcohol and food before swimming
Never dive into water where the depth is uncertain
Only swim in safe water, check currents, sharks, jellyfish, etc.
Avoid alcohol when driving, especially at night.
Avoid hiring motorcycles and mopeds.
If hiring a car, rent a large one if possible, ensure the tyres, brakes and seat belts are in good condition.
Use reliable taxi firms. Know where emergency facilities are.Medical problems
Insect Bites and Malaria Prophylaxis
Mosquitoes, certain types of flies, ticks and bugs can transmit many other infections - e.g. malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever. Some bite at night but some during daytime. The main way to avoid illness is to avoid being bitten, where possible:
If your room is not air conditioned, but screened, close shutters early evening and spray room with knockdown insecticide spray. In malarious regions, if camping, or sleeping in unprotected accommodation, always sleep under a mosquito net (impregnated with permethrin). Avoid camping near areas of stagnant water; these are common breeding areas for mosquitoes, etc.
Electric insecticide vaporisers are very effective as long as there are no power failures!
Electric buzzers, garlic and vitamin B are not effective.
Cover up skin as much as possible if going out at night, (mosquitoes that transmit malaria bite from dusk until dawn). Wear light coloured clothes, long sleeves, trousers or long skirts.
Use insect repellents on exposed skin. (Choose those containing DEET or eucalyptus oil base. A content of approximately 35% DEET is recommended for tropical destinations). Clothes can be sprayed with repellents too. Impregnated wrist and ankle bands are also available.
Check suitability for children on the individual products.
Take adequate supplies of the antimalarial agent suited to your area of travel and remember to take it. People die every year from malaria in the UK.
Even with the best prophylaxis you may still catch malaria so have a high index of suspicion.
Report any unexplained illness with symptoms such as fever, headache, malaise, muscle aches and fatigue.
Malaria can occur up to two years after being bitten by an infected mosquito!Swimming
It is safer to swim in water that is well chlorinated. If you are travelling to Africa, South America or some parts of the Caribbean, AVOID SWIMMING in fresh water LAKES and STREAMS. You can catch a parasitic disease called SCHISTOSOMIASIS from such places. This disease is also known as BILHARZIA. It is wise NEVER TO GO BAREFOOT but to wear protective footwear when out, even on the beach. Other diseases can be caught from sand and soil, particularly wet soil.
Diarrhoea and Vomiting
This is the most common illness that you will be exposed to abroad and there is no vaccine against it! Travellers' diarrhoea is caused by eating and/or drinking food and water contaminated by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Risk of illness is higher in some countries than others.
High risk areas include North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, S.E. Asia, South America, Mexico and the Middle East.
Medium risk areas include the northern Mediterranean, Canary Islands and the Caribbean Islands.
Low risk areas include North America, Western Europe and Australia.
Travellers' diarrhoea is 4 or more loose stools in a 24 hour period often accompanied by stomach pain, cramps and vomiting. It usually lasts 2 - 4 days and whilst it is not a life threatening illness, it can disrupt your trip for several days. The main danger of the illness is dehydration, and this, if very severe, can kill if it is not treated. Treatment is therefore re-hydration. In severe cases and particularly in young children and the elderly, commercially prepared re-hydration solution is extremely useful. This can be bought in tablet or sachet form at a chemist shop, e.g. DIORALYTE or ELECTROLADE (Dioralyte Relief is a new formula containing rice powder which also helps to relieve the diarrhoea, particularly useful in children). Prepare according to instructions. Anti Diarrhoeal Tablets can be used for short term relief for adults (e.g. for a bus or train journey or flight) but should never be used in children under 4 years of age, and only on prescription for children aged 4 – 12 years. Commonly used tablets are IMODIUM and LOMOTIL. None of these tablets should ever be used if the person has a temperature or blood in the stool. Do contact Medical Help if the affected person has:
Blood in the diarrhoea
Diarrhoea for more than 48 hours (or 24 hours in children)
In very special circumstances, antibiotics are used for diarrhoea, but this decision should only be made by a doctor.
A woman taking the oral contraceptive pill may not have full contraceptive protection if she has had diarrhoea and vomiting. Extra precautions must be used – refer to your 'pill' information leaflet. If using condoms, use products with the British Kite Mark.
Rabies is present in many parts of the world. If a person develops rabies, it is almost always fatal. There are 3 rules regarding rabies:
Do not touch any animal, including dogs and cats. Infection is usually via the bite or scratch of a rabid animal, most frequently a dog.
If you are licked on broken skin or bitten in a country which has rabies, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and running water for 5 minutes.
Seek medical advice IMMEDIATELY, even if you have been previously immunised.
Hepatitis B, C infection
These diseases can be transmitted by:
Medical procedures with non sterile equipment
Sharing of needles (e.g. tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture and drug abuse)
Sexual contact (This will also put you at risk of other STD's)
Ways to protect yourself:
Only accept a blood transfusion when essential
If travelling to a developing country, take a sterile medical kit
Avoid procedures e.g. body piercing, tattooing and acupuncture
Avoid casual sex, especially without using condoms
Remember – excessive alcohol can make you carefree and lead you to take risks you otherwise would not consider
Wen you return
Malaria - Maintain a high degree of suspicion of malaria with any flu-like illness characterised by fever, headache, joint aches, etc.
Schistosomiasis - If you have been to Africa, South America or some parts of the Caribbean, and you have been swimming in fresh water lakes and streams, you may need screening for schistosomiasis (bilharzia)
Useful travel information sites
Please note: These sites will open in a new window. To return to the Borton Croft site, simply close the window)
Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice
Divers Alert Network (Europe)
Fit for Travel (an NHS site written at the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health)
High Altitude Medicine Guide
Malaria Foundation International
MASTA (Medical advice centres for travellers abroad)
National Travel Health Network and Centre
World Health Organisation
Lonely Planet on Line