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INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Diphtheria 

Diphtheria is spread through close respiratory contact. It causes a high temperature and severe sore throat. Sometimes a membrane forms across the throat requiring a tracheostomy to prevent suffocation.Vaccination is recommended for those likely to be in close contact with the local population in infected areas. The vaccine is given as an injection alone, or with tetanus and lasts 10 years.

 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food (particularly shellfish) and water. It causes jaundice and although it is rarely fatal it can cause prolonged lethargy and delayed recovery. Symptoms include dark urine and yellow color to the whites of the eyes, fever and abdominal pain. Hepatitis A vaccini (Avaxim,VAQTA,Havrix) is given as an injection: a single dose will give protection for up to a year while a booster 12 months later will provide a subsequent 10 years of production. Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines can also be given as a single dose vaccine (hepatyrix or viatim).

 

Hepatitis B

Infected blood contaminated needles and sexual intercourse can all transmit Hepatitis B. It can cause jaundice and affects the liver, occasionally causing liver failure. All Travelers should make this a routine vaccination, especially as the disease is endemic in Turkey.( Many countries now give Hepatitis B vaccination as part of routine childhood vaccination.) The vaccine is given singly or at the same time as the Hepatitis A vaccine (hepatyrix) A course will give protection for at least five years. It can be given over 4 weeks or 6 months. 

 

HIV

 HIV is spread via infected blood and blood products, sexual intercourse with an infected partner and from an infected mother to her newborn child. It can be spread through ‘blood to blood’ contacts such as contaminated instruments during medical, dental, acupuncture and other body piercing procedures and sharing used intravenous needles.

 

Leishmaniasis

Spread through the bite of an infected sandfly leishmaniasis can cause a slowly growing skin lump or ulcer. It may develop into a serious, life-threatening fever usually accompanied by anaemia and weight loss. Infected dogs are also carriers of the infection. Sandfly bites should be avoided whenever possible.

 

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is spread  through the excreta of infected rodents, especially rats. It can cause hepatitis and renal failure that may be fatal. It is unusual for travelers to be affected unless living in poor sanitary conditions. It causes a fever and jaundice. 

 

Malaria

You stand the greatest chance of contracting malaria if you travel in Southeastern Turkey. The risk of malaria is minimal in most cities, but you should check with your doctor if you are considering traveling to any rural areas. It is important to take antimalarial tablets if the risk is significant. For up to date information about the risk of contracting malaria in specific country contact your local travel Health Clinic.

 If you are traveling in Southwestern Turkey it is as well to be aware of the symptoms of malaria. It is possible to contact malaria from a single bite from an infected mosquito. Malaria almost always starts with marked shivering, fever and sweating. Muscle pain, headache and vomiting are common. Symptoms may occur anywhere from a few days to three weeks after a bite by an infected mosquito. The illness can start while you are taking preventative tablets if they are not fully effective and may also occur after you have finished taking your tablets. 

 

Poliomyelitis

Generally, poliomyelitis is spread through contaminated food and water. It is one of the vaccines given in childhood and should be boosted every 10 years, either orally (a drop on the tongue) or as an injection. Polio may be carried a symptomatically, although it can cause transient fever and in rare cases, potentially permanent muscle weakness or paralysis 

Rabies

Spread through bites or licks on broken skin from an infected animal, rabies is fatal. Animal handlers should be vaccinated, as should those traveling to remote areas where a reliable source of post-bite vaccine is not available within 24 hours. Three injections are needed over a month. If you have not been vaccinated and you suffer a bite, you will need a course of 5 injections starting within 24 hour hours or as soon as possible after the injury.Vaccination does not provide you with immunity, it merely buys you more time to seek appropriate medical help.

 

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is spread through close respiratory contact and occasionally through infected milk or milk products. BCG vaccine is recommended for those likely to be mixing closely with the local population. It is more important for those visiting family or planning on a long stay, and those employed as teachers and healthcare workers. TB can be asymptomatic, although symptoms can include a cough, weight loss or fever months or even years after exposure. An X-ray is the best way to confirm if you have TB. BCG gives a moderate degree of protection against TB. It causes a small permanent scar at the site of injection and is usually only given in specialized chest clinics. As it's a live vaccine it should not be given to pregnant women or immunocompromised individuals. The BCG vaccine is not available in all countries.

Typhoid

This is spread through food or water that has been contaminated by infected human faeces.The first symptom is usually fever or a pink rash on the abdomen.. Septicaemia (blood poisoning) may also occur. Typhoid vaccine (typhim Vi,typherix) will give protection for 3 years. In some countries to oral vaccine Vivotif is also available.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever vaccination is not required for any areas of the Middle East; however, any Travelers coming from a yellow fever and the Mickey area will need to show proof of vaccination against yellow-fever-endemic area will need to show proof of vaccination against yellow fever before entry to the Middle East -  this normally means if traveler is arriving directly from an infected country or has been in an infected country during the previous 10 days. 

The yellow fever vaccination must be given at designed clinic and is valid for 10 years. It's a live vaccine and must not be given to immunocompromised or pregnant Travelers.