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Travel vaccines: A 2018 update for primary care nurses

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Mosquitos are a common cause of infectious diseases affecting travellers, particularly in tropical regions

Despite the news that immunisations will be leaving the new GP contract in Scotland, nurses working in general practice (GPN) throughout the UK are continuing to see travellers before travel to advise and immunise. This article will discuss five of the diseases which will pose some of the biggest problems for our travellers during 2018.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is an arbo-virus spread by infected day-biting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Found across Sub-Saharan Africa and South America it has the potential to cause major outbreaks as seen in Angola (2016), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (2017) and most recently in Brazil.1 Following the increase in cases and spread of disease towards the Brazilian coast, the recommendation relating to vaccine has been revised to include areas where vaccine was not formerly indicated.

This includes the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.2 All GPNs advising travellers should be mindful to check the destination’s requirements for yellow fever vaccination and certification, e.g. travellers from Angola and DRC are currently required to produce a certificate of immunisation against yellow fever as a condition of entry into Brazil.

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