Vaccination and Travel Information for Egypt


 Information current as at:  February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No 1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dublin 2 Ph 6314500. The experts in Travel vaccines Dublin 2.

Climate: Hot, dry summers with mild, dry winters and cold nights. Mainly desert except for a strip approximately 80 km/50 miles wide along the Mediterranean coast which has reasonable rainfall (100 to 200 mm/4 to 8 in per year). Dust laden wind called the khamsin brings very high temperatures out of the Sahara Desert to the coast between March and June.

Annual rainfall is less than 50mm except on the coastal strip 100 to 200 mm per year.
Capital City: Cairo
Altitude: 20 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Alexandria, Asyut, Giza, Ismailia, Port Said
Population: 57,285,000
Land Area (sq km): 1,001,250
Currency: 1 Egyptian pound = 100 piastres
Languages: Arabic, French
Religions: Sunni Muslim, Orthodox (Coptic) Christian
Economy: Rice, fruit, vegetables, oil, natural gas, cotton, tourism

The D2 Medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

CHOLERA Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
DIPHTHERIA We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

HEPATITIS 'A' This is the most vaccine preventable disease for travellers. Strongly recommended but not compulsory for travel to this area. Gammaglobulin is not recommended for travellers.

HEPATITIS 'B' Immunisation is strongly recommended for travellers who will be in the area for 1 month or more.
Transmission of Hepatitis B is through sex or contact with contaminated blood, needles and syringes.

MENINGO-COCCAL MENINGITIS There is no significant risk of the disease, currently. Immunisation is not routinely recommended.
POLIO Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.

RABIES Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in rural or remote areas for 1 month or more at a time.

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt.

TETANUS We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

TYPHOID FEVER Immunisation is recommended.

YELLOW FEVER A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas ( see * below ).

* World Health Organization:
The following countries and areas are regarded as Yellow Fever infected areas:

Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan (south of 15°N), Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia.
America: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Very limited P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria risk exists from June through October in El Faiyum governorate (no cases reported since 1998).
Recommended prophylaxis for travellers: none

Risk exists in scattered rural areas of Al Fayyum Governorate, particularly Sennoris District. Transmission occurs primarily during the summer and fall (June–October). Possible risk exists in the Nile River Delta, along the Suez Canal, the northern Red Sea coast, part of southern Egypt (likely the rural areas near Aswan), and scattered oases (including Siwa Oasis and El Gara, a small oasis near Siwa) Urban centers, including Cairo and Alexandria, are risk-free. Vivax malaria accounts for the majority of cases. Falciparum malaria is endemic only in the El Faiyum Governorate, where it predominates. Chloroquine resistance has not been reported.
• Chloroquine prophylaxis is recommended for travel to risk areas.
• All travellers should take measures to prevent evening and nighttime mosquito bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include a DEET-containing repellent applied to exposed skin, insecticide (permethrin) spray applied to clothing and gear, and use of a permthrin-treated bednet at night while sleeping.


General Advice on Mosquito Prevention.
Malaria is transmitted by mosquito bite, so recommend all travellers to the country to:

  • cover exposed skin after dusk when they are at most risk for getting bitten
  • use insect repellent with DEET in it.
  • return before dusk from country areas where malarial mosquitoes are the most active
  • sleep in screened room or use a bed net, remembering to tuck in the edges & spray inside.
  • sleep in air conditioned rooms or rooms with fans. Vapour pads and smoke coils also help. Insect buzzers are useless.

Malaria map of Egypt

There are many Western-trained medical professionals in Egypt, and Medical facilities are generally adequate for non-emergency matters particularly in tourist areas. Emergency and intensive care facilities are limited. Facilities outside Cairo fall short of developed country standards. Most Nile cruise boats do not have a ship's doctor, but some employ a medical practitioner of uncertain training. Hospital facilities in Luxor and Aswan are inadequate, and they are nonexistent at most other ports of call.

Beaches on the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts are generally unpolluted. However, persons who swim in the Nile or in canals, walk barefoot along the Nile, or drink untreated river water are at risk of exposure to bacterial infections, hepatitis, and schistosomiasis (bilharzia).

Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The D2 Medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DR JOHN J RYAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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