OH nurses urged to encourage healthy attitude to travel jabs

With much of the country on holiday this month, occupational health nurses are being urged to promote the necessity of travel medicine.

A study has revealed that one in 10 British adults fails to have the appropriate vaccinations or take precautionary medicines before travelling abroad.

The study, by insurer AXA, has stressed that holidaymakers are increasing their risk of catching tropical diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and typhoid, all of which they could then bring back into the workplace.

A particular problem is holidaymakers ignoring health advice not to drink the local water when on holiday, and so are putting themselves at risk from diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid fever and hepatitis A.

Nick Kidd, head of lifestyle protection and household claims at AXA Insurance, said holidaymakers must see their GP to get the appropriate vaccinations prior to travel.

“British holidaymakers are putting their health in serious jeopardy by failing to take sensible precautions,” he said.

And if that wasn’t enough to put a dampener on your holiday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the risk of developing dangerous blood clots doubles after travel lasting four hours or longer. The risk applies as much to trains, buses and cars as to aeroplanes, with immobile passengers most at risk.

People taking multiple flights over a short period of time were also a higher risk, it said.

But the WHO also stressed that the absolute risk remained low, at about one in 6,000 passengers.

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