General information

The information on these pages should be used to research health risks and to inform the pre-travel consultation.

Travellers should ideally arrange an appointment with their health professional at least four to six weeks before travel. However, even if time is short, an appointment is still worthwhile. This appointment provides an opportunity to assess health risks taking into account a number of factors including destination, medical history, and planned activities. For those with pre-existing health problems, an earlier appointment is recommended.

While most travellers have a healthy and safe trip, there are some risks that are relevant to travellers regardless of destination. These may for example include road traffic and other accidents, diseases transmitted by insects or ticks, diseases transmitted by contaminated food and water, sexually transmitted infections, or health issues related to the heat or cold.

All travellers should ensure they have adequate travel health insurance.

A list of useful resources including advice on how to reduce the risk of certain health problems is available below.

Resources

Vaccine recommendations

Details of vaccination recommendations and requirements are provided below.

All Travellers

Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK. These vaccinations include for example measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine.

Those who may be at increased risk of an infectious disease due to their work, lifestyle choice, or certain underlying health problems should be up to date with additional recommended vaccines. See the individual chapters of the ‘Green Book’ Immunisation against infectious disease for further details.

Certificate Requirements

There are no certificate requirements under International Health Regulations.

Most Travellers

The vaccines in this section are recommended for most travellers visiting this country. Information on these vaccines can be found by clicking on the blue arrow. Vaccines are listed alphabetically.

Tetanus

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released from Clostridium tetani and occurs worldwide.  Tetanus bacteria are present in soil and manure and may be introduced through open wounds such as a puncture wound, burn or scratch.

Prevention

Travellers should thoroughly clean all wounds and seek appropriate medical attention.

Tetanus vaccination
  • Travellers should have completed a primary vaccination course according to the UK schedule.
  • If travelling to a country where medical facilities may be limited, a booster dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine is recommended if the last dose was more than ten years ago even if five doses of vaccine have been given previously.

Tetanus in brief

Some Travellers

The vaccines in this section are recommended for some travellers visiting this country. Information on when these vaccines should be considered can be found by clicking on the arrow. Vaccines are listed alphabetically.

Rabies (Bat Lyssavirus)

Although rare, bat lyssaviruses (bat rabies) can be transmitted to humans or other animals following contact with the saliva of an infected bat most often by a bite. The disease can also be transmitted if the saliva of an infected bat gets into open wounds or mucous membranes (such as on the eye, nose or mouth). Bat lyssaviruses can cause disease in humans that is indistinguishable from rabies.

Symptoms can take some time to develop, but when they do the condition is almost always fatal.

The risk to most travellers is low. However, it is increased for certain occupations for example bat handlers and veterinarians, or certain activities such as caving.

Bat Lyssavirus in the United Kingdom

Rabies has not been reported in this country; therefore most travellers are considered to be at low risk. However, bats may carry bat lyssavirus (bat rabies).

Prevention
  • Travellers should avoid contact with bats. Bites from bats are frequently unrecognised. Rabies-like disease caused by bat lyssaviruses is preventable with prompt post-exposure rabies management.
  • Following a possible exposure, wounds should be thoroughly cleansed and an urgent local medical assessment sought, even if the wound appears trivial. Although rabies has not been reported in other animals in this country, it is sensible to seek prompt medical advice if bitten or scratched. It is possible, although very rare for bats to pass rabies like viruses to other animals including pets.
  • Post-exposure treatment and advice should be in accordance with national guidelines.

Rabies vaccination
  • A full course of pre-exposure vaccines simplifies and shortens the course of post-exposure treatment and removes the need for rabies immunoglobulin which is in short supply world-wide.
  • Pre-exposure rabies vaccinations are recommended for those who are at increased risk due to their work (e.g. laboratory staff working with the virus and those working with bats).
  • Pre-exposure vaccines could be considered for those whose activities put them at increased risk of exposure to bats.

Rabies in brief

Other risks

There are some risks that are relevant to all travellers regardless of destination. These may for example include road traffic and other accidents, diseases transmitted by insects or ticks, diseases transmitted by contaminated food and water, sexually transmitted infections, or health issues related to the heat or cold. Some additional risks (which may be present in all or part of this country) are mentioned below.

Biting insects or ticks

Insect or tick bites can cause irritation and infections of the skin at the site of a bite.

Diseases in Western Europe

In some areas of Western Europe certain insects or ticks may be present.

Prevention

  • All travellers should avoid insect and tick bites day and night.

Further information about specific insect or tick borne diseases for this country can be found, if appropriate on this page, in other sections of the country information pages and the insect and tick bite avoidance factsheet.

 

Important News

12 Nov 2018

Worldwide rabies risk - reminder for travellers

NaTHNaC reminds all travellers of the global risk of rabies Read more

24 Apr 2018

Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea in a UK traveller

Report on the first global report of high-level azithromycin resistant (HLAziR) Neisseria gonorrhoeae which is also resistant to ceftriaxone Read more

20 Dec 2017

Measles reminder

Ensure all travellers are up to date with measles vaccination Read more

14 Aug 2017

Malaria imported into the UK 2016

Public Health England publish the annual malaria data for 2016 Read more

06 Jul 2017

Measles in Europe

A reminder for travellers to be up to date with measles vaccine Read more

26 Apr 2017

Measles in Europe

A reminder for travellers to be up to date with measles vaccine Read more

06 Apr 2017

European cluster of cases of hepatitis A

Outbreaks of hepatitis A have been reported in Europe mostly affecting men who have sex with men (MSM) Read more

17 Aug 2015

Meningococcal meningitis: scouts returned from Japan

Cases of meningococcal meningitis reported in scouts recently returned from the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan Read more

10 Aug 2015

Cyclospora in travellers returning from Mexico

A cluster of cases of Cyclospora infection in travellers who have recently returned from Mexico Read more

22 Jun 2015

MERS-CoV update: Republic of Korea and China

Ongoing surveillance of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Republic of Korea (South Korea) and China Read more

12 Jun 2015

Imported malaria: UK

Malaria imported into the United Kingdom: 2014 Read more

05 Jun 2015

MERS-CoV: Republic of Korea and China

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) update: Republic of Korea and China Read more

Outbreaks

10 Sep 2018 View Countries + Nigeria
United Kingdom

On 8 September 2018, Public Health England reported a case of Monkeybox. The patient is a resident of Nigeria, where they are believed to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK. The patient stayed at a naval base in Cornwall prior to transfer to the Royal Free Hospital, where they are receiving treatment.

Human

Imported

Miscellaneous

New Post

Verified

PHE - Read more

23 Mar 2018 View Countries + Austria
Denmark
Finland
Sweden
United Kingdom

As of 22 March 2018, a food-borne outbreak with 32 cases and six deaths in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom between 2015 and 8 March 2018 has been reported. The most likely source is frozen corn products produced and processed in Hungary and packed in Poland. Market withdrawals are under way.

Human

Food and water-borne

New Post

Verified

ECDC - Read more