Going on holiday somewhere exotic? Excitement can often be so great that the smaller details are neglected. Forgetting to buy a new pair of sunglasses, purchase that high factor sun cream or check that extra bag in, are all relatively minor oversights that can be easily rectified. However, failing to get immunised against the relevant illnesses and diseases when visiting a high risk country can have far more severe consequences. Below we look at the importance of getting immunised when going to certain countries around the world by examining the different illnesses and diseases that can be contracted.

Diseases vary around the world and as such, we are not fully immunised against everything that can be harmful due to the fact that it is not necessary if we do not intend on travelling to particular countries (after all getting immunised can be an expensive process). Those discussed below are some of the most common illnesses that can be picked up when going abroad:


Hepatitis A

Most commonly contracted in Africa and parts of Asia such as Indian and Pakistan. Incubation periods can last for up to six weeks, so you may have travelled abroad, felt fine upon returning for a number of weeks before starting to show signs of being affected. Symptoms include loss of appetite, a temperature, fatigue, nausea and skin turning yellow (jaundice). Whilst Hepatitis A is not necessarily the most serious illness to contract, it is worth seeing a GP to get treated and ensure that it is nothing more severe. Vaccinations for Hepatitis A are normally

Hepatitis B

Again, Hepatitis B does not always immediately show with symptoms, and sometimes does not at all. If there are signs that the disease is present, they are generally similar to those displayed by Hepatitis A – that is feeling sick, lack of appetite, flu like symptoms and jaundice. Hepatitis B can be transmitted through sexual intercourse and needles etc. and is most commonly found in Africa and Asia. Vaccination for Hepatitis B normally costs at a local GP, but can be well worth it.

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever can be a serious illness caused by the YF virus. The potentially deadly disease is passed onto humans by infected mosquitoes and it is not contagious between individuals.  The severity of Yellow Fever can depend greatly and can range from flu like symptoms that improve on their own accord, to extreme illness, organ failure and potentially death. Yellow Fever is most predominantly found in Africa and South America and the best two ways of preventing contracting the illness are to minimise the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes, and getting immunised at least ten days before travelling to the high risk countries.

The three diseases listed above are just a few of the many that are in circulation around the world. Before travelling to a new destination, it is important to research the potential health threats and visit Broadgate GP Travel Clinic for extensive information on prerequisite vaccinations for each country.