Meningococcal Meningitis is a serious, potentially fatal bacterial infection that causes swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection that is spread via contaminated food and water. It is a highly contagious disease that affects approximately 18 million cases a year with around 400,000 of these cases resulting in death.
Although meningitis is a worldwide risk there are a few countries across Africa that have a much higher risk known as the ‘meningitis belt.
Our recommended vaccines for the most common travel destinations outside of Europe includes Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) vaccines. For travellers who are visiting the developing world on a regular basis or for prolonged periods of time, we would recommend considering hepatitis B vaccine. Cholera is worth considering for travellers visiting rural areas of developing countries. The vaccine against cholera (Dukoral) also reduces the risk of the most common form of traveller’s diarrhoea caused by E coli. Dukoral is an oral vaccine given in two doses one week apart.
Transmission of the meningococcal disease is via respiratory droplets and is a higher risk in overcrowded places. Wearing face mask and good hand hygiene may reduce the risk of infection.
Meningococcal Meningitis often presents itself with a sudden onset of fever, headache, nausea & vomiting. These symptoms can occur minutes to hours after infection. Neck stiffness is another symptom of meningitis.
Travellers to high risk areas are advised to receive a meningitis vaccine. The meningitis vaccine is a requirement for travellers planning on going to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Hajj or Umrah and will not be allowed into the country without the appropriate certificate. The vaccination will last for up to 5 years. The meningitis vaccine is now also required for students at school and at university.