Which infectious diseases are particularly dangerous for pregnant women? Is it safe to travel to exotic locations with a small child? When is traveling to foreign places not advisable? For children and pregnant women travelling to far away destinations may be risky, so when planning a trip it is recommended to seek the advice of a travel medicine physician and get recommended vaccinations or... postpone the trip for some other time.
The disease can cause microcephaly, or a defect leading to a reduction in the size of the head and brain. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent infection with the Zika virus, and there are no available preventive measures. Therefore, pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should refrain from going to places where the disease occurs. Moreover, in the case of couples expecting a child, if the man travels to places where he may be exposed to the Zika virus, it is necessary to abstain from sexual intercourse or use barrier methods of contraception throughout the entire pregnancy. The potential infectious period for men is 6 months. If a woman planning pregnancy is exposed to the infection, she should refrain from getting pregnant for at least 8 weeks,
says Professor Bożena Walewska-Zielecka, travel medicine physician and Medical Director at Medicover Poland.
Initially it resembles an ordinary respiratory infection with symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting. It takes between 3 to 6 days from the time of infection for the first symptoms to appear. Usually, it goes away in a few days. In 15 percent of cases, the disease becomes more severe and may be accompanied by jaundice, haemorrhaging, shock and multi-organ failure,
says Professor Bożena Walewska-Zielecka.
The risk of developing the disease after vaccination is small, but this vaccine is not recommended for all patients. This applies to people over 60 in whom the risk of developing severe complications is fourfold. It also applies to pregnant women. We must be aware that contracting yellow fever is particularly dangerous in this situation, so if possible, we should not travel to such destinations,
advises the expert from Medicover Poland.
Currently there is no vaccine against malaria available on the market, so preventive measures include taking medication to prevent the infection from developing, as well as preventing mosquito bites by using repellents. There are various anti-malaria products available on the market, including one that may be taken by pregnant women,
says the expert.
Children who are already walking on their own should be vaccinated against rabies. This is very important for two reasons. First of all because rabies is a 100 percent deadly disease - there is no cure for it. Secondly, an animal infected with rabies attacks first and it is never the child's fault. However, out of fear of getting in trouble, the child may not admit that such an event took place. Although pre-trip vaccination does not exclude the need to administer several doses of the vaccine after the attck, in this situation it will give you some time and reduce the number of doses needed. It may also give a chance for survival, although there is no data confirming this fact,
stresses the expert from Medicover Poland.