Review of non-vaccine preventable diseases on TRAVAX country pages

07 May 2019

Article: 53/1802

The Health Protection Scotland (HPS) Travel and International Health Team have carried out a thorough review of all non-vaccine preventable disease recommendations throughout TRAVAX.

The updated information and advice can be found on the individual country pages

The rationale and method for the review were:

  • The majority of infections acquired as a consequence of travel are not vaccine preventable. Not all vaccines are 100% protective. Highlighting how to reduce risk of exposure to infections will help protect travellers from both non-vaccine preventable and vaccine preventable infections. 
  • Following a review of medical literature since 2008, infections in returning travellers considered to be the most noteworthy, either due to high consequences of infection or through being the most common, were identified by region.

The subsequent changes made to TRAVAX are the replacement of ‘Other Disease Risks to Consider’ section with: 

  • Emerging Health Risks. Novel and re-emerging infections may occur at any time, in any country. When such an infection occurs it will be highlighted in the ‘Alerts’ section of the country page. The ‘Outbreak archive’ for individual countries should be checked for recent alerts – this is unchanged. If the risk of infection continues to pose a risk for travellers, these will be highlighted in the ‘Emerging Health Risks’ section of the country page.
  • Disease Prevention and Advice. This highlights the common transmission routes for travel related infections and ways to reduce the chances of exposure. Most travel related infections are acquired through the following generic routes and simple measures can reduce the chance of acquiring infections through these routes e.g.:
    • practising good food and water hygiene 
    • practising good respiratory hygiene 
    • implementing insect bite avoidance measures 
    • practising safe sex; avoiding exposure to blood and body fluids 
    • being aware of and avoiding contaminated environments

The TRAVAX team believe that this extensive piece of work enhances the country specific recommendations by:

  • focussing on the provision of advice on reducing the risk of non-vaccine preventable infections 
  • prioritising the most noteworthy specific illnesses in returning travellers for that region

If you would like to feedback on these changes please contact the TRAVAX team.

Source: TRAVAX, 30 April 2019