Prepare for the trip
Health Information for Europe
Want to travel to Europe? Whatever the season, the Old Continent offers an array of hidden surprises and lends itself to all your wishes, whether you want to improve your English in London, to stroll through the streets of Seville, or to enjoy some traditional (yet extraordinary) haggis in Glasgow, Scotland. However, vaccines may be advisable or even mandatory, depending on the country you decide to visit. So here is some information you can use to travel safely.
Which vaccines are needed to travel to Europe?
Before any departure, it is important to inform yourself about any recommended or mandatory vaccines for your destination country. In France, for example, the polio, diphtheria and tetanus vaccines are mandatory and the pertussis (Whooping Cough), tuberculosis (BCG) and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccines are recommended. It is essential that you get a booster dose of the vaccines listed above.More generally, the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine is strongly recommended for travel to central, northern and eastern Europe, particularly in the spring and summer. For extended stays, the rabies vaccine is also recommended, particularly for travel to eastern Europe. However, it is not mandatory.
Finally, the typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines are recommended for extended stays, or if traveling to poor conditions in Moldova, Romania, southern Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Preventing infectious and parasitic diseases in Europe
Europe is a relatively safe continent, however health risks do exist for travelers, especially during stays in Eastern Europe, where food-borne diseases are still common.
The risk of infection related to tick bites is higher in spring and summer, especially regarding Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis.
Ultimately, it is good to take note that some infectious diseases are also present in Europe. This is particularly the case for:
- Measles : which is reoccurring in several places, such as Berlin, Germany and in the east of France ;
- Diphtheria: two cases have been announced in Belarus and Poland ;
- Tuberculosis: is occurring in some countries like Hungary, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.
If you are staying in one of these countries, it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated in advance.