Information about DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio). Persons born after 1950 have almost all received vaccinations as a child. In general a booster-injection is sufficient. Older persons who have not been vaccinated, or where this is not known, should have the full series of three injections.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease which occurs as a childhood disease in tropical countries. Dutch nationals who were born after the war will probably not have experienced the disease. The Hepatitis A virus is transferred through food and is often found in seafood and raw vegetables. Adults can become very ill and take a long time to recover. Vaccination offers very good protection.
Hepatitis B is one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world. It is caused by the Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and sexual relations. Hepatitis B is very contagious. A vaccine can be given in a series of three injections. The blood can then be tested to show the level of anitbodies. If this is sufficient then protection is lifelong.
Information about TB
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium. Infection is spread by coughing. Prevention is better than cure: If you are planning to spend 6 months or longer in a country where tuberculosis is common then the BCG vaccine is recommended, provided you have not previously had the disease or the vaccination. Vaccination does not reduce the chance of contracting TB but if does offer protection against the more serious symptoms of the disease and improves the chances of recovery.
Information about Rabies
Rabies is a viral infection which is always fatal if symptoms are present. The virus is transmitted through infected mammals' salvia (a dog, cat, monkey or other small mammal; bats can also transmit the disease). Humans can be infected if bitten, scratched or licked by an infected animal. The virus penetrates the body through small wounds in the skin or through mucous membranes in the eyes or mouth. The first visible symptoms can appear a few weeks or even several months after infection. If bitten by an animal suspected of having Rabies, you should immediately (and in any case within 1 week) receive treatment with an immunoglobulin. In addition you should be vaccinated. If you are taking a trip where the risk of being bitten is relatively high, for example if you are going trekking or on a cycling-trip, vaccination against rabies is recommended. If you are then bitten you will not need immunoglobulin, which may in any case be difficult to get hold of in developing countries and treatment with additional vaccinations will be sufficient. Discuss with the vaccination clinic whether a vaccination against Rabies is advisable in your individual case.
“Eastern European Tick Fever” or “Frühsommer Meningo Encephalitis” occurs in the summer months. This is a viral infection with symptoms that can vary from a flu-like condition to a serious infection of the brain. The infection only exists in forest areas. If you have been bitten by a tick you should see a doctor immediately. Vaccination against East European Tick Fever is possible but is generally only available from specialised travel clinics or larger vaccination clinics. Discuss with your vaccination clinic whether or not vaccination is advisable in your case.