Central and Eastern Europe Travel Health Guide

The regions known as Central and Eastern Europe cover a massive mix of cultures, and indeed a vast variety of habitats. From the hustle and bustle of cities such as Prague, Berlin, and Moscow, to the huge wilderness of Russia, so diverse an area can in turn mean several health issues to consider

Vaccinations to consider when travelling to Central and Eastern Europe include:

  • Tick-borne Encephalitis
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio
  • Hepatitis B

Tick-borne Encephalitis

How is the disease spread?

Tick-borne Encephalitis is a viral disease, usually spread by infected ticks. It can cause a flu-like illness, fever, headache, nausea, muscle pain and general discomfort. Some patients may go on to develop encephalitis, which can cause paralysis and can be fatal in some cases.

How can we prevent contracting Tick-borne Encephalitis?

The risk of acquiring tick-borne encephalitis can be reduced by vaccination. Travellers may be recommended a course of two Ticovac.

Insect bite avoidance methods such as wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent. Travellers should also avoid drinking unpasteurised milk in areas at risk.

Tetanus, Diphtheria or Polio

What does the vaccination involve?

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio (DTP) is one injection. It is advised that you have this injection every ten years, regardless of your previous medical history. It’s an injection in the top of the arm (intramuscular) which can lead to an aching arm for about twenty-four hours, but this is however a very important vaccination to consider.

Hepatitis B

How is the disease spread?

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease. You get it from bodily fluids or blood. Travellers are at risk when they have medical intervention in a developing country as equipment may not be sterilised. You may also catch Hepatitis B from sex, tattoos, or intravenous drug use.

What does the vaccination involve?

The vaccination itself is three injections over a specific schedule that a nurse will discuss with you. If you need to be vaccinated quickly you can have three injections over a month.

What other precautions should I take?

It is very important to take bite avoidance measures, so use mosquito repellent and a net to avoid yourself getting bitten by mosquitos.

The information in this blog is very general and it is important you go to see a nurse and have a full risk assessment and your history taken into account before you decide on what vaccinations you need.

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