Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Malaria Guidelines for 2014

The updated Guidelines for malaria prevention in travellers from the UK for 2014 were published on the Health Protection England website this afternoon.  For a downloadable copy of the document click HERE.
NaTHNaC have written a useful resume of the key changes in this document from the 2013 edition - for full details see here.

One of the biggest changes is the advice for travellers going to India and the map is quite different to that posted in the 2007 guidelines - see the latest version below.  Where there is orange/peach coloured shading the travel advice after assessment is strict bite prevention measures plus taking either atovaquone plus proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine (which ever is suitable and preferred by the traveller). Chemoprophylaxis is now no longer routinely recommended for the other areas.  However for these destinations the committee who write the guidelines (called ACMP) have stated

"A recommendation for bite prevention plus awareness of risk does not mean there is NO risk of malaria in the place in question, but indicates that ACMP considers the level of risk to be below the threshold for recommending chemoprophylaxis. As bite avoidance is now the main preventive measure for most of India, rigorous adherence to the recommendations in Chapter 3 is strongly advised. The final decision whether or not to advise chemoprophylaxis rests with the travel health advisor and the traveller after individual risk assessment has been performed.  Whilst the local malaria situation is the same for all travellers to a given location, long-term VFR visitors run a higher risk. Furthermore, once infected the risk of developing severe or complicated malaria is higher in certain groups eg the elderly and especially pregnant women.  Therefore, whether or not chemoprophylaxis is advised, special attention must be given to bite prevention and febrile illness must be taken seriously and investigated promptly."

Monday, 28 July 2014

World Hepatitis Day

Today is World Hepatitis Day and you'll find a wealth of information and fantastic resources on the WHO website here and on the World Hepatitis Alliance website too here. Did you know for example, that viral hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.   The date of 28 July was chosen for World Hepatitis Day in honour of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus.

  • This link here will take you to the official World Hepatitis Day making the very best use of resources and social networking opportunities.  
  • Updated hepatitis A, B, C and E factsheets can be found here 
  • A poster campaign (image above) in which you can customise the poster is availale here 
  • A video for World Hepatitis Day click here 
  • I love the infographics posters as they convey such strong messages in a simple format - see here.  
CLICK around the resources links above and you'll find much much more!