Meningitis ACWY

Meningitis Certificate Requirements For Pilgrims To Saudi Arabia

Pilgrims attending Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah are required to provide a certificate showing proof of vaccination against Meningitis Strains A, C, W and Y to obtain a Visa.

About Meningitis ACWY

Meningitis is caused by the bacteria, Neisseria Meningitides, of which there are several strains. The combined vaccine provides protection against 4 strains; A, C, W, and Y, which are encountered worldwide.

The infection is spread by coughing, sneezing, kissing and sharing cutlery and utensils.

Meningitis ACWY Vaccine

There are two types of vaccines-conjugated and polysaccharide. Conjugated vaccines have a better immune response and are now the main vaccines used for prevention of Meningitis ACWY.

The conjugated vaccines can be given from 1 year of age (Nimenrix) or 2 years of age (Menveo).

Additionally, Menveo can be used “off license” for those from 2 months to 1 year of age as per Department of Health Guidance, as there is sufficient clinical data on safety and effectiveness.

Since 2015, the conjugated vaccines are given to UK school children aged 14-16 years as part of the national childhood immunisation schedule.

A single dose of the vaccine provides protection for at least 5 years in clinical studies.

Current Guidance for Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia

Meningitis ACWY certificate requirements apply to Adults and children over 2 years of age travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah.

For the certificate to be valid, the Meningitis ACWY vaccination must be administered as below:

  • Conjugated vaccine (Menveo and Nimenrix)-single dose given within the last 5 years and not less than 10 days prior to arrival.
  • Polysaccharide vaccine-single dose to be given within last 3 years and not less than 10 days prior to arrival.

Visas will only be issued if there is a valid certificate of vaccination at least 10 days prior to entry into Saudi Arabia

Please note that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health are advising that the following groups should defer pilgrimage due to potential safety concerns:

  • The elderly (above 65 years of age).
  • Those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes).
  • Immune deficiency (congenital and acquired).
  • Those with malignant disease.
  • Those who are terminally ill.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Children (under 12 years).
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Scheduling Options

About Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that is found throughout South and South-East Asia, where transmission can be seasonal (usually May-October coinciding with the rains) or all year long.

The virus is spread by the Culex mosquito (vector) and the hosts for the virus are water fowl and pigs. Humans are the end host. Consequently, the disease is mainly found in rural areas, around rice paddies, farmlands (especially pig farms). However, it is important to note that outbreaks can and do occur in urban locations.

Disease Prevention

There is no treatment for the disease and it can cause fatality or permanent disability.

Therefore, all travellers at risk of this of exposure to this illness should carry out Mosquito bite prevention, which includes insect repellent, mosquito nets, insecticide infused clothing (if necessary) and strongly consider Vaccination.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Ixiaro is the licensed vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis and it is safe to administer from 2 months of age.

Previously there was one schedule, the STANDARD Schedule, which required two doses of the vaccine given 1 month apart (day 0 and 2nd dose day 28). Full protection against the disease is only achieved 7 days after the second dose. Therefore, if you were travelling to an “at risk” destination in less than 1 month and thus, unable to get two doses, you would not be covered against the illness.

There is now an ACCELERATED schedule, which can be used for travellers who do not have enough time to complete the standard course. This is licensed for use in adults aged 18-65 years and consists of two doses given 1 week apart (day 0 and 2nd dose day 7). This schedule provides the equivalent protection 7 days after the second dose as the standard schedule.

Additionally, the Department of Health guidance advises that clinicians can use this ACCELERATED schedule “off license” in children aged 12-17 years also, if there is genuinely insufficient time before travel.

Booster doses should be given at 2 years if there will be further exposure to the illness. After this, in those between 18-65 years of age, a second booster should be given at 10 years.

Travel Health News March 13th 2016

Yellow Fever Outbreaks

News from National Health and Family Planning Commission in China.

Case Report of a man who was found to have confirmed yellow fever in Beijing, China.

The man in question had returned from Luanda, Angola with symptoms of a high fever. There is currently a large outbreak of yellow fever in Angola.

Travel Advice

It is important to remember China has yellow fever vaccination certificate requirements for all those over the age of 9 months. Although there is no actual yellow fever in China, the risk of a potential outbreak is there, because of the presence of the mosquito vector – Aedes Aegypt. An outbreak would require first an infected individual to enter the area and then subsequently to be bitten by the vector mosquito.

Make sure you attend your local Travel Clinic for yellow fever at least ten days before departure. The vaccination lasts for life and the certificate for a minimum of 10 years.

Yellow fever is a live vaccine and there are a number of contraindications so its important you attend a registered yellow fever travel clinic for expert advice. Yellow fever vaccination is contraindicated in those with a true egg allergy.

 

Travel Clinic Alert March 15th 2016

Guidance CDC Providing Care Women following Zika Virus Exposure

New Travel Health guidance from the CDC regarding the provision of care for women of child bearing age after Zika virus exposure. The latest recommendation is for health care professionals to provide serology screening to those pregnant women without symptoms and have travelled to geographical regions with Zika virus cases.

Zika Virus Facts

  • Zika virus transmission is continuing to spread
  • Mainly transmitted by Aedes aegyptimosquitoes,
  • Associated with congenital microcephaly and other central nervous abnormalities
  • There is currently no preventable Travel vaccination or treatment
  • World Health Organization declared Public Health Emergency on Feb 1 st 2016.

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Travellers to areas with Zika virus prescence, are reminded of the importance of bite prevention.

Main methods include-

  • Wear long sleeved clothing and trousers.
  • Use permethrin soaked clothing.
  • Use adequeate strength DEET repellent. 50 % or greater.
  • DEET should be applied after the Sunscreen and may reduce in effectiveness because of the sunscreen, so may need to be re-applied.

Mosquitos spread also

  1. Yellow Fever
  2. Dengue
  3. Japanese Ecephalitis
  4. Chikungunya
  5. Rift Valley Fever
  6. West Nile Fever

Protection yourself before travelling by attending your local Travel Clinic at least 6 weeks before travel.  Ensure you are up to date on all essential vaccinations and obtain the necessary general pre travel advice for your specific itinerary.

Travel Alert South America March 15th 2016

Chikungunya in South America

Chikungunya cases had been initially noted in French Guiana at the end of 2013. The condition has spread throughout the South Americas including

Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Peru , Venezuela

Prevention Methods

The CDC has recommended that all visitors to South America take extra precautions in terms of bite prevention.

High risk groups for Chikungunya include

  • Travelers over age 65
  • Those who have pre-existing arthritis
  •  Serious chronic disease e.g. Ischaemic heart disease/Diabetes Mellitus
  • Long term visitors and those staying mainly in rural areas

Medical Facts

  • Virus transmitted via mosquitos
  • No travel vaccination available to prevent
  • Spread via same mosquito as Dengue-Aedes specie
  • Most usual symptoms –joint aches particularly hands/feet
  • Other general symptoms include headache, myalgia and rashes
  • Majority recover within 7 days
  • Can cause long term joint pain
  • Death from the condition is very rare

Travel Health News March 10th 2016

Lassa Fever Outbreak Nigeria March 10th

Lassa Fever has been reported in numerous areas of Nigeria. As of March 10th over 250 cases and over 100 fatalities have occurred from Lassa Fever.

Lassa Fever –The Facts

  • Viral Illness transmitted via rats.
  • Humans become infected by direct contact rat faeces or urine
  • Additionally infection through inhalation droppings/or contaminated food

What are the symptoms of Lassa Fever ?

There a number of symptoms associated with Lassa fever and the majority have mild symptoms including-

  • Mild pyrexia
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Headaches

Severe symptoms include bleeding from the the mouth and nasal passages, Dyspnoea (shortness of breath), generalized pain and shock from blood loss.

Incubation is usually 1-3 weeks post infection. Main region affected are Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leon.

Prevention of Lassa Fever

  • Avoid contact with rats
  • Maintaining high standard of food hygiene
  • Do not eat rats
  • Wash hands effectively and regularly

For the latest up to minute pre travel advice ensure you book an appointment at your local travel vaccination centre.

Chikungunya in South America

Chikungunya cases had been initially noted in French Guiana at the end of 2013. The condition has spread throughout the South Americas including

Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Peru , Venezuela

Prevention Methods

The CDC has recommended that all visitors to South America take extra precautions in terms of bite prevention.

High risk groups for Chikungunya include

  • Travelers over age 65
  • Those who have pre-existing arthritis
  •  Serious chronic disease e.g. Ischaemic heart disease/Diabetes Mellitus
  • Long term visitors and those staying mainly in rural areas

Medical Facts

  • Virus transmitted via mosquitos
  • No travel vaccination available to prevent
  • Spread via same mosquito as Dengue-Aedes specie
  • Most usual symptoms –joint aches particularly hands/feet
  • Other general symptoms include headache, myalgia and rashes
  • Majority recover within 7 days
  • Can cause long term joint pain
  • Death from the condition is very rare

 

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