Professor Larry Goodyear Offers Updated Information About Flu Outbreaks
The Medical Director of Nomad Travel, Professor Larry Goodyear has urged travellers to make a plan if they’re visiting India or Egypt after both countries had flu outbreaks.
The influenza A (H5N1) virus recently caused a number of human deaths in Egypt, and the Indian Government also reported that there had been a rise in influenza across the country earlier this year.
When it comes to the situation in Egypt, the professor said that A (H5N1) is a “bird” or avian flu and can be very serious. The flu was first reported sometime in 2003, and has been occurring around the world ever since, however this was the largest outbreak ever seen in one country, with 26 deaths in 2015 alone.
This flu is only contracted if you have direct contact with birds, so it’s relatively easy to avoid provided you avoid visiting markets and farms where birds and poultry are kept. The usual seasonal flue vaccine isn’t effective at preventing bird flu, and although a vaccine has been developed for avian flu, it’s not available for general use.
Professor Goodyear said the Indian outbreak was just the ordinary seasonal flu, however this can still be dangerous for those who are more at risk such as small children, the elderly, pregnant women, those with diabetes, or those who have asthma or other respiratory problems.
It’s a good idea to consider getting a general flu vaccine before travelling. Getting the flu while travelling can mean trips to the doctor or pharmacy, and missing out on key parts of your trip.
Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle and body aches, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, fatigue, diarrhoea or vomiting. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread when people cough, talk, or sneeze, or by touching a surface which has flu germs on it.
Most people believe that they will only become sick if they’re in contact with a person who is visibly sick. However healthy adults can sometimes infect others a day before they start to develop symptoms, as well as up to 5-7 days after they become sick.
It can be hard to motivate yourself to go see another temple or church when you just want to curl up in bed, so to reduce the risk of getting the flu or another bug, get a flu vaccination, always wash your hands, and be sure to use hand sanitiser. Both India and Egypt are common places to get food poisoning, stomach diseases, and diarrhoea, so be sure to always drink bottled water and use filtered ice.
Nomad Travel was established as a market stall in Reading in 1990, and now has ten stores throughout the UK. Stores feature a retail chain, pharmacy, and travel clinic full of medical and travel experts who can offer recommendations and advice so travellers can be fully prepared for their adventures, regardless of the destination.