Vaccination and Travel Information for Mauritius

MAURITIUS

 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: Warm coastal climate (particularly January to April), with relatively little seasonal variation in temperatures, although they are generally slightly lower inland, with more rain on the plateau around Curepipe. Cyclones may occur between November and February. Sea breezes blow all year, especially on the east coast.

Temperatures in Port Louis: summer ( December-February ); 25-30 °C and winter ( June-August ) 16-25 °C.
Capital City: Port Louis
Altitude: 90 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Beau-Bassin
Population: 1,179,368
Land Area (sq km): 1,860
Currency: 1 Mauritian rupee = 100 cents
Languages: English (official), Creole, French, Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bojpoori
Religions: Hindu 52%, Christian 28.3% (Roman Catholic 26%, Protestant 2.3%), Muslim 16.6%, other 3.1%
Economy: Clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses



 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 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.


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 routinely required nor recommended.
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 for travellers who will be living in rural areas for 1 month or more.


YELLOW FEVER A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas, as deemed by the WHO.





Risk is exclusively in the P. vivax form, and is present between January and May in rural areas of Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhelms, Riviere de Rampart, and Grand Port. There is no risk in Port Louis or in coastal resorts and their immediate surroundings. There is no risk on Rodrigues Island.

Universal prophylaxis is not recommended, however for those considered at risk then chloroquine is recommended for travel to rural areas.

There are five common medications for malaria prevention available in Ireland. They are: chloroquine, doxycycline, malarone, mefloquine, paludrine. To determine the appropriate antimalarial, it is advised that the traveller discuss this with a Worldwise Travellers Health Specialist or other Travel Health Professional. None of the medicines are 100% effective against the disease at all times, and each has its own side effects. These need to be discussed with the intending traveller.

 

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 Mauritius




GENERAL
While public hospitals and clinics provide free care, many visitors may choose to be treated by private doctors and hospitals. Service Aide Medicale Urgence (SAMU) is a government organization that provides assistance to anyone who calls 114. (Address: Volcy Pougnet Street, Port Louis). Some pharmaceutical drugs are prohibited in Mauritius. Importation of these drugs without a valid prescription can result in prosecution and a fine. Visitors are advised to keep such drugs in the manufacturer’s box with the pharmacy prescription, and have them ready for inspection on arrival by Mauritian customs.

Foreigners are sometimes required by the police to show some identity. Visitors should carry photocopies of the relevant pages of passport and driving licence and leave the original in a safe place.

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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