The BestHealth Clinics team of doctors and pharmacists are our travel experts with access to the latest travel, vaccination and medical information. We pride ourselves on being a CQC registered clinic with appointments being available on the same day (available to book by telephone, email or walk-ins) and anti-malaria medication being dispensed on site.
Common Vaccinations & When You Need Them
Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by drinking contaminated water or eating food which has been mixed with contaminated water. The infection is spread in areas of poor sanitation, where food and water become contaminated with the faeces (stools) of an infected person. Infection can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting, which can then lead to dehydration.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection, which causes liver inflammation. It is spread by eating food and water contaminated by the stools of an infected person as a result or poor sanitation or poor personal hygiene. It is estimated worldwide there are 1.5 million new cases of illness due to hepatitis A each year.
Japanese encephalitis is a type of viral brain infection that is spread through mosquito bites. It can cause swelling of the brain resulting in permanent brain damage or death. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are around 68,000 cases of Japanese encephalitis worldwide each year. It’s very rare for travellers from outside risk areas to be affected by Japanese encephalitis. The people most at risk are those who live and work in rural areas where the condition is widespread.
Malaria is a serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes infected with malaria parasites, which if not treated can be fatal. The risk of contracting malaria is high in affected countries. In 2012 World Health Organisation states there were 207 million cases of malaria and 627, 000 deaths. In the UK there were about 1400 travellers diagnosed with malaria year, two of which died.
Rabies is a serious viral infection that is spread to humans by being bitten by an infected animal. The infection causes inflammation of the brain and nervous system. It is always fatal once symptoms develop, but can be prevented if treatment is given quickly after exposure. In the UK, rabies is not found in the animal population (except bats) and infections are almost always picked up by travellers abroad.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral infection that is spread to human via the bite of parasitic ticks. Initial symptoms are similar to flu, and the virus can spread to the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and the brain (encephalitis). The World Health Organisation estimates that between 10,000 and 12,000 cases of tick-borne encephalitis are reported worldwide each year, although the actual number of cases is believed to be much higher than this because it is likely many cases are not reported.
Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and airways.
It causes repeated coughing bouts that can last for two to three months or more, and can make babies and young children very ill. Whooping cough is spread person to person by the breathing in contaminated droplets of the cough or sneezes of an infected person.
It is contagious from six days after exposure to three weeks after the coughing starts
Diphtheria is a potentially fatal infectious bacterial disease. It mainly affects the nose and throat and sometimes the skin and can cause difficulties in breathing. Diphtheria is very contagious and is spread by coughing, sneezing and contact with an infected person or their belongings eg. clothes, bedding, towels or cutlery. Diphtheria is rare in the UK as vaccination is part of the childhood immunisation schedule.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can lead to severe liver problems and can be fatal. It can spread through blood and bodily fluids, such as semen and vaginal fluids. The World Health Organisation estimates hepatitis B is responsible for 600,000 deaths a year worldwide.
Meningitis (meningococcal meningitis) is very serious and is treated as a medical emergency. It is a bacterial infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. If left untreated it can cause brain damage, permanent disability, blood poisoning and death.
Polio (poliomyelitis) is a viral infection that can cause difficulty in breathing, paralysis and death. It is a highly contagious virus that attacks the nervous system. It has largely been wiped out around the world, but is still epidemic in some countries around the world. Children are particularly at risk and are vaccinated as part of the childhood vaccination programme in the UK.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that is spread by food and water contaminated with the bacteria Salmonella typhi. If left untreated it can cause internal bleeding in the digestive tract, severe abdominal pain, perforation of the colon, organ failure and death. Across the world there are approximately 15 million cases of typhoid, half a million of these are fatal.
Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria entering the body thorough a wound. The disease cause severe muscle spasms and can be fatal if left untreated. It is estimated there are one million cases of tetanus worldwide per year with up to 30-50% of these cases resulting in death.
Yellow fever is a serious viral infection that is spread by certain types of mosquito. It is mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and parts of the Caribbean. The mosquito that spreads infection are usually active and bite during daylight hours, from dusk until dawn. They are found in both urban and rural areas.
Meningitis ACWY For Hajj/Umrah
Meningitis symptoms can develop quickly and they can be difficult to spot as they as similar to symptoms of flu. Infection with meningitis is an emergency and requires admission into a hospital where you will be given antibiotics. All pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah are required to show proof of vaccination in the last three years against meningitis ACWY.
Vaccination is required at least 10 days before you are due to travel and you will also receive a certificate as part of your vaccination.