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Africa

Hepatitis A, caused by infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), has an incubation period of approximately 28 days (range: 15–50 days). HAV replicates in the liver and is shed in high concentrations in feces from 2 weeks before to 1 week after the onset of clinical illness. HAV infection produces a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection or chronic liver disease.

Travelling to Africa

Typhoid

Typhoid is an infection caused by the Bacteria Salmonella group. It occurs worldwide but more common in developing countries. Typhoid is transmitted by contaminated food, water or ice, shell-fish taken from the sewerage contaminated waters, raw fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products contaminated by the hands of the carriers are also common avenues of transmission. Typhoid vaccine is by far the best protection for the travellers traveling to developing countries.

Rabies

Rabies is characteristically transmitted by the bite or scratch from rabid infected animals. People who are intending to work in farms and work with other animals are strongly advised to have this prophylactic anti-rabies vaccination. As this vaccination involves a series of three vaccinations it is recommended to plan ahead for this vaccination.

Meningitis

Meningitis is caused by a number of bacteria and virus. Meningococcal meningitis is one of the most serious bacterial diseases and can be fatal. The disease is transmitted from person to person by direct contact and respiratory droplets (coughing and sneezing). Mencevax can protect you against this form of disease.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever mainly spreads from the bite of infected mosquitoes. travellers are strongly advised to vaccinate against this disease and a vaccination certificate from the approved centre is essential to re-enter the country. As this vaccination cannot be given with some vaccinations, it is best to seek travel vaccination advise well before the departure.

Poliomyelitis Cases

According to a June 22, 2004, Global Polio Eradication Initiative report, a single case of paralytic poliomyelitis was confirmed with onset of paralysis May 20 in a child in the West Darfur region of Sudan, 12 miles from the border with Chad. The poliovirus responsible for the case is genetically similar to wild poliovirus circulating in northern Nigeria.

Other cases of poliomyelitis linked to outbreaks occurring in northern Nigeria have been reported in the last year from several countries in Western and Central Africa. These countries include Benin, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo. The exception, Botswana, is located in southern Africa. This year, the number of children paralyzed by polio in West and Central Africa is five times higher than in 2003. Because of the rapid reemergence of infection in areas that had previously been free of polio, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has warned that a major epidemic could occur this autumn, the high season for poliovirus transmission. In response to the outbreak, synchronized immunization campaigns targeting 74 million children are planned this fall across 22 African countries.

"Keep your tetanus, diptheria and whopping cough up to date"

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