Our team of medical experts are ready to help

Your questions answered


Anon asked...

I am travelling to Mauritius this December...

Hi, I am travelling to Mauritius this December and I would like to know if I need any vaccination for this.

  • mother-thermometer-doctor-at-hand

    Do you need to see a GP ASAP?

     

    Would you like to speak with a doctor by video or phone at a time that suits you?

    Our Doctor@Hand service, delivered by Doctor Care Anywhere, is available on a pay-as-you-go basis with prices starting at just £60 per consultation*.

    Quote AXA20 to receive a 20% discount. (* Prices subject to change.)

The answer

Hello

Thank you for contacting Health at Hand. You must be looking forward to travelling to Mauritius. It is a good idea to be thinks of the vaccinations you may need.

The vaccinations you need depend a lot on the following 10 criteria;

  1. If you have had the vaccine in the past and when you had it.
  2. How long you are going to stay in Mauritius
  3. Where you are staying. If you are going back packing for more than a month then you may need some extra vaccines. If you are staying in hotels with good quality of hygiene then some vaccines may not be necessary
  4. The activities you are going to be participating in may put you at increased risk of certain diseases. For example if you are going to be cycling you may be at increased risk of Rabies in some areas.
  5. If you are taking any medications or have been taking medications that reduce your immune system.
  6. How old you are.
  7. If you are pregnant
  8. If in the past you have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of the components in the vaccine
  9. Are you going for a holiday or are you working out there as a doctor or a nurse or an occupation that puts you at a particular risk
  10. Are you going to be in contact with animals.

The vaccines you need to be up to date with:

To travel to Mauritius you need to be up-to-date with the vaccines that are recommended for life in the UK. These include Diphtheria, tetanus and Polio.

The vaccine itself

Diphtheria Tetanus and polio vaccines are available in a combined preparation called Revaxis; so if you need to have them you will have them as one injection. This one injection will give you 10year protection. If you had the Revaxis injection within the last 10years then you may not need to have it.

Diphtheria

What is it and how is it spread?

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that affects the respiratory tract so gives you flu-like symptoms but is very serious.

You can catch diphtheria through close contact with someone who has diphtheria sneezing or coughing near you. It can also be caught if you are in direct contact with a cut from a person who is infected with diphtheria.

More information on diphtheria can be found in the web link below.

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/diphtheria.aspx

Tetanus

What is it and how is it spread?

Tetanus is a serious bacteria disease of the central nervous system. Tetanus spores are found in the soil worldwide. If you have a cut or a burn or some wound that is contaminated with soil then you are risk of catching tetanus unless you are protected by Tetanus vaccine.

A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK.

Tetanus vaccine is recommended for travelling to Mauritius. A single vaccination of tetanus usually provides protection against tetanus for 10years.

However, if you are injured and have a wound that is contaminated with soil it is still a good idea to have it examined even if you have had the tetanus vaccine.

More information on tetanus can be found on the web link below;

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/tetanus.aspx

Polio

Polio is the common term used for Poliomyelitis.

What is it and how is it spread?

Poliomyelitis is a serious viral infection that you can get through faecal-oral route so areas of poor sanitation present a higher risk.

More information on Polio can be found in the web link below:

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/poliomyelitis.aspx

What else is recommended for travel to Mauritius?

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is usually recommended to travellers to Mauritius.

What is it and how is it spread?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that affects the liver.

Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water. It can also be transmitted from person to person through the oral faecal root.

The vaccine itself

Two doses of Hepatitis are needed to give you long-term protection.

The first dose provides protection against Hepatitis A for one year. The second dose, the booster dose, is given 6 months to a year after the first dose. Once you have had the booster dose then you can be protected for at 10-25 years.

More information can be found in the web link below

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/hepatitis-a.aspx

Vaccines you may also need:

You may also need Typhoid, Hepatitis B and Rabies

Typhoid

If you are visiting or staying with friends or relatives you may be at high risk of catching Typhoid. Young children and long-term travellers are also at high risk of catching Typhoid. Areas with poor sanitation and people infected with Typhoid pose a definite risk of Typhoid What is it and how is it spread?

Typhoid is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted through contaminated food and water. Unlike many other disease if you have had Typhoid infection before you may still be at risk of getting Typhoid.

The vaccine itself

Typhoid vaccine is available as an injection and as an oral vaccine. It is also available as a single vaccine combined with Hepatitis A. One injection of typhoid vaccine provides protection for 3years. The typhoid injection provides a greater degree of protection than the oral vaccine. The oral vaccine is available as Typhoid capsules. There are three capsules which you take at 3 day intervals.

For further information see the web link below:

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/typhoid.aspx

Hepatitis B

What is it and how is it spread?

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is transmitted through contaminated blood and body fluids.

Sexual contact with an infected person, blood transfusions, needle sharing , contaminated needles use during injections, tattooing, body piercing and acupuncture are all methods of catching Hepatitis B.

If you are going to be at risk of any of these activities then you will need to think about having Hepatitis B vaccine.

The vaccine itself

To be fully protected against Hepatitis B you will need three doses. A 0, 1 and 6month schedule will provide optimal protection at 7 months. This means that you have the second dose one month after the first dose and the third dose 6 months after the first dose. Once you have had all three doses you will have good protection against Hepatitis A 7months after you have had the first dose. Sometimes if you need to be protection sooner the third dose can be given 2months instead of 6 months after the first dose but then you will need a fourth dose 12months after the first dose. The protection usually lasts 5 years but can last up to 20years in some people.

However, since you are travelling this December you will not have enough time to start the course of Hepatitis B so my suggestion is that you avoid activities that put you at risk of Hepatitis B

For further information please view the web link below.

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/hepatitis-b.aspx

Rabies

What is it and how is it spread?

Rabies is a viral infection that can be transmitted to humans or other animals through saliva of an infected animal such as dog, cat or other domestic or wild animals including bats.

In Mauritius rabies has not been reported in domestic or wild animals but there is a risk from bites, scratch or lick from bats infected with Lyssavirus.

Rabies like disease from contact with bats is preventable is prompt action is take following a bite, scratch or like from a bat.

What should I do if I get bitten by a bat?

Following a possible exposure, wounds should be thoroughly cleansed and an urgent local medical assessment sought, even if the wound appears trivial. Although rabies has not been reported in other animals in this country, it is sensible to seek prompt medical advice if bitten or scratched. It is possible, although very rare for bats to pass rabies like viruses to other animals including pets.

Rabies vaccine itself

If you are at a particular risk of catching rabies from bats you may want to have vaccines before you travel to the area. In this case you will need three doses. A 0,7 and 28day schedules is usually recommended. This means you have the second dose 7 days after the first dose and the third dose 28days after the second dose. A further dose may be needed 10years after the first dose if you are travelling to a high risk area.

However, you may not have time to have a complete course so it would be a good idea to avoid any contact with bats. Generally short term travellers are at low risk of rabies, however, remember Rabies can be fatal.

If you should be unfortunate enough to get bitten by a rabid bat please seek immediate medical attention after cleaning the wound as per guidance above.

You may find the web links below useful.

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/rabies.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/520305/PHE_clinical_rabies_service_April_2016.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/85762/Green-Book-Chapter-27-v3_0.pdf

Other risks to consider

The risk of malaria is not present in Mauritius however insect bite avoidance measures are recommended.

There is a known risk of dengue fever and schistosomiasis present in Mauritius. However, at present there are no vaccines against these infections. Please see web links below to find out how you can protect yourself against these infections:

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/general-travel-health-advice/insect-bite-avoidance.aspx

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/dengue-fever.aspx

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/schistosomiasis.aspx

Further Information

For further information see web links below

http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/mauritius.aspx

http://nathnac.net/

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Travel-immunisation/Pages/Introduction.aspx

In Summary

If you are going for one or two week holiday and staying in hotels with high standard of hygiene then you will need to ensure that you are up to date with Diphtheria, tetanus and Polio vaccines. Hepatitis A is also recommended.

If this is not the case then you may need the other vaccines mentioned above.

Please ensure you follow strict food and water hygiene. Make sure that you drink from a bottled water and use the brand that you are familiar with. Ensure the seal and the bottle is intact. Make sure that you have freshly prepared food that is cooked all the way through. Try to avoid reheated buffet foods, salads and ice. More information regarding these matter can be found on the web links mentioned above.

If you are travelling with children or you have a health issue and you are taking other medications then please do not hesitate to call the health at hand helpline on:

Tel 0800 003 004 choosing option 3 and speak to a pharmacist.

We hope you have a really enjoyable time in Mauritius.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses