Vaccination and Travel Information for Belgium

BELGIUM

 Information current as at:  February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No 1 fitzwilliam Street Dublin 2 ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.


Climate: Temperate throughout the country with warm summers (18-25 °C) and cold winters (0-3 °C) with possibilities of snow, but prolonged periods of frost or snow are rare. Rain falls throughout the year.
Capital City: Brussels (Bruxelles)
Altitude: 80 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Antwerp, Charleroi, Ghent, Liège
Population: 10,241,506
Land Area (sq km): 30,510
Currency: Currency now in use = Euro, as of 1.1.2002
Languages: Dutch 58%, French 32%, German 10%, legally bilingual
Religions: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25%
Economy: machinery, chemicals, diamonds, metals and metal products



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' Immunisation is generally recommended for travellers to the region, but not compulsory.


HEPATITIS ‘B’ Immunisation is 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.

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 Rabies is neither recommended nor routinely advised.
TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not routinely recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt, and this is recommended pre- and post- travel for those going to ‘at risk’ regions.

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 neither routinely required nor recommended.
YELLOW FEVER No vaccination requirements for any international traveller




Malaria is not present in any area of this country.




GENERAL
: Hospitals in Brussels and Flemish-speaking Flanders will probably have English-speaking staff; however, hospitals in French-speaking Wallonia may not have staff members who are fluent in English. Modern medical facilities and well skilled medical practitioners are widely available. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is recommended.

Uninsured travellers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travellers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life-saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

HEALTH, ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
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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