If you’re planning to travel to Western Europe in the next coming months, you should understand the following health information. The Western European region includes the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Gibraltar, Azores, Spain, Andorra, Monaco, Malta, Italy, Greece, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
When traveling to Western Europe, you should plan to have the following vaccines. Be sure to discuss your travel plans with your health care professional in order to determine whether there might be any additional vaccines you may need.
Hepatitis A-This vaccine is also known as the immune globulin (IG) vaccine. It is important to know that transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur from direct in person contact as well as exposure to water, shellfish or ice that has been contaminated or polluted. Further transmission can occur from consuming foods such as fruits, vegetables and other foods that have not been cooked or that were contaminated or polluted during harvesting and/or handling.
Hepatitis B-You may be exposed to
this disease by coming in contact with body fluids or blood. Transmission can also occur through sexual intercourse with locals or through medical treatment.
Yellow Fever- You will need this vaccine if you plan to travel to the areas of Madeira, Malta and/or Azores; if you are traveling in from the sub-Saharan Africa or South America.
Other vaccines which you may need to obtain, as needed, include booster shots for tetanus-diphtheria, measles and polio.
While the level of risk varies from one country to the next, you should be aware of the fact that the United Kingdom has witnessed an increase in the number of reported cases of mumps. In addition, cases of Tickborne encephalitis have been reported in countries such as Germany, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark. To a milder degree, other cases have also been reported in France, Italy and Norway. Avoid heavily forested areas and unpasteurized dairy products to reduce risk for this disease. If you are traveling from the United States, be aware that there is no available vaccine for this disease at this time.