Vaccination and Travel Information for Georgia

GEORGIA

 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: Hot summers with mild winters, particularly in the southwest. Low temperatures are common in alpine areas. Heaviest rainfall exists in the subtropical southwest.

High temperatures can reach 30º C in Tbilisi during July, and low temperatures may drop to zeroº C during January
Capital City: Tbilisi
Altitude: 400 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Sukhumi, Kutaisi, Rutsavi, Batumi
Population: 5,019,538
Land Area (sq km): 69,700
Currency: 1 lari (GEL) = 100 tetri
Languages: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7% note: Abkhaz (official in Abkhazia)
Religions: Georgian Orthodox 65%, Muslim 11%, Russian Orthodox 10%, Armenian Apostolic 8%, unknown 6%
Economy: Fuel, grain and other foods, machinery and parts, transport equipment



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 strongly 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 Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be staying in rural areas for 1 month or more.

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 recommended, particular for all travellers to the region.

YELLOW FEVER Immunisation is not required for travel to this country alone.




Transmission currently is limited to the warmer months of May through until September. Risk likely is limited to the southwest, particularly in the areas around Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the coastal areas of the Black and Caspian Seas. All cases appear to be vivax malaria.

Routine prophylaxis is not recommended.




 

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 Georgia




GENERAL
Medical care outside Tbilisi is limited. Medical facilities in Tbilisi are available but expensive. There is a severe shortage of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles, anesthetics, and antibiotics. Georgian doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment before rendering medical services. Medical care is usually far below Western standards, with severe shortages of basic medical supplies. Access to the few quality facilities that exist in major cities usually requires cash payment at Western rates upon admission. Many resident expats travel to the west for medical needs. Such travel can be very expensive if undertaken under emergency conditions. Travellers should check their insurance coverage and purchase supplemental coverage for medical evacuation. Elderly travellers and those with existing health problems may be at particular risk.

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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