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Health Risks, Inoculations, Vaccinations and Health Certificates

Switzerland - Health Risks, Inoculations, Vaccinations and Health Certificates

As one of the world's healthiest countries, according to Forbes.com, there is generally little to worry about in the way of disease. You do need to be aware of the risk of Lyme disease (borreliosis) and Tick-Borne Encephalitis, however. You can be bitten by disease-carrying ticks while walking in long grass or forest areas. You should also avoid unpasteurised milk which can occasionally transmit the Tick-Borne Encephalitis (goats milk being more at risk). Lyme disease can cause lasting or recurring neurological symptoms and general ill-health, although the chance of full recovery is said to be good if treated with antibiotics. Tick-Borne Encephalitis will cause serious illness and can be fatal.

Medical advice on safeguarding against tick-borne diseases includes using insect repellant on exposed skin and covering up as much as possible, taking care to tuck trousers/pants into socks. You should check your own skin and clothes, plus your children and your pets for ticks. There are special tools which when used properly will safely remove a tick. Improper methods of tick removal can do more harm than good. There is a vaccination for Tick-Borne Encephalitis and you may be able to arrange immunisation in your home country before leaving for Switzerland. You will then need a booster vaccination every 3 years. You can also be vaccinated by your doctor in Switzerland. There is currently no vaccination against Lyme disease so even those immunised against TBE should take care when in at-risk areas of Switzerland. Always seek medical advice if you develop a rash.

Rabies is restricted to bats in Switzerland and therefore will not present a risk to most people. Switzerland is low-risk for Hepatitis A and B. You may wish to have a flu vaccination if you would normally do so, and it is recommended that you are up to date on tetanus and MMR vaccinations.

If tempted to explore Switzerland's beautiful mountain areas, remember to stay hydrated and to protect your skin and eyes against the harmful effects of the sun, even in the winter. Sunglasses are important and in winter will help prevent snow blindness. Be prepared to descend to a lower altitude if you experience altitude sickness.

Useful Resources:

NHS (England and Wales): Healthcare Abroad
Tel: +44 (0)191 218 1999 (Overseas Healthcare Team)

NHS Scotland: Fit For Travel

US: International Travel Information

Public Health Agency of Canada

Australia: Smart Traveller

Read more about this country

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