ATOVAQUONE/PROGUANIL TO BE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION
A brand of anti-malaria tablet, previously available by prescription only, will shortly be available from pharmacies as an Over the Counter (OTC) medicine
Atovaquone/proguanil, a combination tablet that can be taken to prevent malaria, is currently available in branded and non-branded forms.
Following a public consultation process , the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has announced one named brand of atovaquone/proguanil as approved as an Over the Counter (OTC) medicine. This medicine will shortly be available through pharmacies without prescription and will be available to adults aged over 18, weighing more than 40kg, travelling to areas affected by malaria and where the malaria parasite is not resistant to the product ingredients .
Health professionals are reminded that pre-travel risk assessment is essential to tailor advice for an individual, including advice about malaria risk and options for medicine to prevent malaria.
BCG VACCINE AVAILABILITY
BCG supply has resumed for those who are eligible to receive vaccine
Public Health England has published an update on BCG vaccine supply and has concluded that there is currently sufficient stock to extend the offer of vaccine to all eligible groups including previously unvaccinated, tuberculin-negative individuals under 16 years of age who are going to live or work with local people for more than three months in a country where the annual incidence of TB is 40/100,000 or greater.
BCG vaccine is usually administered in specialist clinics where staff have the expertise and are familiar with administering the vaccine.
Further details about eligible groups and how to order vaccine is available in Vaccine Update July 2017.
MEASLES IN EUROPE
A reminder for travellers to be up to date with measles vaccine
The outbreaks of measles across Europe continue with Romania and Italy being the worst affected [1-2]. The following EU/EEA countries have reported measles cases in 2017: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom .
Measles is a highly infectious illness spread by airborne/droplet transmission. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, conjunctivitis and cough. A rash then usually develops, starting at the head, then spreading to the trunk and limbs, over three to four days. Individuals are infectious from their first symptoms to four days after the rash appears and the incubation period is about ten days. Complications can occur and in the UK, the death rate is approximately one in 5,000 cases. Risk of death from measles is age-related: high in children under one year of age, lower in children aged one to nine years, rising again in teenagers and adults .
Advice for travellers
As part of your travel preparation, make sure you are up-to-date with all currently recommended UK vaccines including measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses of MMR in a life time are needed for a person to be considered fully protected.
MMR vaccine can be given from six months of age before travel to a risk country and/or where an outbreak is occurring.
If you have not had measles (the illness) or if you have not had two doses of MMR, you may be at risk if visiting countries reporting cases. This is especially a concern if staying with friends or family, mixing with the local population or going to mass gatherings like festivals, sports events or pilgrimages. Measles is easily passed from person to person and can be a serious illness in adults (as well as children). It is never too late to have the vaccine.
You may wish to consider carrying a record documenting vaccination against MMR when travelling abroad.
Advice for health professionals
Guidance on measles vaccination is available in Immunisation against infectious disease Chapter 21. Advice on immunisation against measles is also available for those whose immunisation status is uncertain. In the UK, measles is a notifiable disease. Any case of suspected measles should be notified to the local Health Protection Team.
Applications are now open for the next intake of the International Diploma in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine – a post-graduate course, fully credit rated by Glasgow Caledonian University.
This course provides a mix of distance and taught learning, with residential weeks based in Glasgow, Glenmore Lodge (Cairngorm Mountains), Dartington Hall (Devon), and the Atlas Mountains (Marrakech), and gives healthcare professionals a unique opportunity to develop their skills in extreme and challenging environments.
Full details about the course are available on our website: https://rcpsg.ac.uk/diploma-in-expedition-and-wilderness-medicine
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
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