|Posted on 18 September, 2019 at 0:40|
With the imminent start of the RWC and the masses of supporters attending Japan I have followed the reports of safe travel measures over the last few weeks.
Whereas we understand the risks from highly contagious diseases such as measles there have been several conflicting reports made contrary to the UK guidance. A former international player was indicating in Wales that Japanese Encephalitis was a disease of risk and vaccinations were available. Whilst encephalitis is a severe medical condition this was comment was made in support of a charity supporting awareness of the condition.
Recently a report on the ISTM page by a Japanese based travel medicine and quarantine doctor again suggested Japanese Encephalitis was indeed a risk and vaccinations should be considered.
As all travel medicine practitioners know an accurate risk assessment is the most credible method of determining the needs of the travellers. So by considering the life style of the average supporter and the disease vector it can be determined that the mosquito will be flying at night when there are no matches and many supporters will be in groups in the local bars and restaurants.
The NaTHNaC factsheet for the disease indicates that predominantly the mosquitoes are found in rural areas, close to standing water and occasionally in cities. They recommend vaccination for travelers in risk areas staying for longer than 4 weeks. This is reflected again in the Green Book. Similar advice is given by the CDC in their Yellow Book, that minimal risk is found in stays of less than a month is urban areas.
Hence confusion stands as media and conflicting medical reports are made. The key message here is that despite the opinions made, the underlying use of insect repellents and physical barriers such as long sleeved clothing and trousers and bed nets.