Vaccination and Travel Information for Poland

POLAND

 Information current as at:  February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dublin 2 ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.


Climate: Poland has a temperate climate characterised by relatively cold winters and warm summers. Winters become increasingly severe inland from the Baltic coast, with January temperatures averaging -1° C in the north and going as low as - 5° C in the southeast. July temperatures range from 16.5° C near the coast to 19° C in the south.

Temperate in Warsaw, with warm summers (15-25 °C) and cold winters (0-5 °C). Rain falls throughout the year.
Capital City: Warsaw
Altitude: 100 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Bialystok, Gdynia, Krakow, Poznan
Population: 38,625,478 (July 2002 est.)
Land Area (sq km): 312,685
Currency: Zloty (PLN)
Languages: Polish
Religions: Roman Catholic 95% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and other 5%
Economy: Machinery, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, beverages, textiles, rubber products, glass



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 recommended 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
Adequate medical care is available throughout Poland, but hospital facilities and nursing support are not comparable to Irish standards. Physicians are generally well trained but there can be a lack of specific emergency services, especially in Poland's small towns or rural areas. Younger doctors generally speak English, though nursing staff often does not. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Modern medical facilities and well skilled medical practitioners are widely available, but may be limited outside urban areas.

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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