Vaccination and Travel Information for Portugal

PORTUGAL

 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: The northwest has mild winters with high levels of rainfall and fairly short summers. The northeast has longer winters and hot summers. In the south, summers (March to October) are warm with very little rain except in early spring and autumn. High temperatures are moderated by a permanent breeze in Estoril (July to August).

The Northern region benefits from the Atlantic cyclones, while South and East are dominated by the subtropical anticyclone, that allows temperatures to rise up to 40º C during the Summer.
The climate varies according to the altitude and the highest temperatures are more likely in the lower regions of the South.
Capital City: Lisbon
Altitude: 50 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Oporto
Population: 10,048,232
Land Area (sq km): 92,391
Currency: Portuguese escudo (Esc) = 100 centavos
Languages: Portuguese
Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, Protestant
Economy: Clothing and footwear, machinery, chemicals, cork and paper products, hides



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 Immunisation is neither required nor routinely recommended for travellers. The country is considered rabies-free.
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 for those travelling to remote regions for a month or more, but it is not compulsory.
YELLOW FEVER A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas. The requirement applies only to travellers arriving in or bound for the Azores and Madeira. However, no certificate is required from passengers in transit at Funchal, Porto Santo and Santa Maria.





Malaria is not present in any area of this country.




GENERAL
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.

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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