Netcare travel clinics (2022)

Netcare travel clinics (1)

More cases of highly infectious whooping cough reported this year

There has been a rise in the number of reported cases of whooping cough — a highly infectious disease — in South Africa this year, and families are cautioned to take measures to protect their young children from potentially becoming infected.

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"Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a vaccine-preventable disease that often presents with cold-like symptoms. It occurs in people of all ages but can be particularly serious for infants, as they have under-developed immune systems and are at high risk of developing severe complications such as pneumonia or encephalitis," says Dr Peter Vincent of Netcare Travel Clinics and Medicross Tokai.

"As many as a half of all infants under the age of one year who contract whooping cough require hospitalisation, which illustrates the potential severity that this infection can pose to them. Unfortunately some babies with the infection do not develop the distinctive cough, so it is not always obvious that they have contracted pertussis, and in some cases the first sign of the condition is when the child stops breathing," adds Dr Vincent.

"Whooping cough, which is a notifiable disease in South Africa, is an infection of the breathing passages with the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is usually spread through contact with respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other caregivers are often not aware that they have contracted the infection and may pass it on to the infants in their care without being aware that they have done so."

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According to Dr Vincent, in its latest edition of its Communicable Diseases Communiqué, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported an increase in the number of laboratory-confirmed pertussis cases in South Africa between January and August 2108 compared with last year.

"The NICD states that there have been 90 confirmed cases of whooping cough in South Africa so far this year, 43% of which occurred in children three months and younger. It observes that episodic increases in the prevalence of the disease do tend to occur every three to five years, so this is not cause for alarm. This does, however, call for increased vigilance, and we always advise caregivers to be ever mindful of this infection, and to take every precaution to protect the infants in their care from it.

"This can be done by ensuring that your children are inoculated against whooping cough as per the requirements of the Expanded Programme on Immunization [EPI] in South Africa, which stipulates infants should receive a total of four pertussis vaccine doses at three, five, seven and 18 months.

"In addition, pregnant women between 26 and 36 weeks gestation should get a dose of the quadrivalent vaccine with each pregnancy. In addition to pertussis, the vaccine also provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria and polio. This assists in providing newborn babies with the best possible passive immunity against whooping cough."

Dr Vincent warns that young infants who have not yet been immunised, or who are only partially immunised, may remain at risk. Netcare Travel Clinics and Medicross therefore also recommend that those who are likely to be in close contact with infants, including mothers, parents, grandparents, siblings, travellers and healthcare workers, to also take precautions against contracting and passing on the infection.

"They should, if necessary, update their pertussis vaccine, which provides immunity from whooping cough for between five and six years. The pertussis shot is available in an adult quadrivalent vaccine provided by two pharmaceutical companies in South Africa and through Netcare Travel Clinics. Keeping your pertussis vaccination up to date assists in preventing outbreaks among populations and helps to provide protective 'cocooning effect' for our infants," explains Dr Vincent.
"Netcare Travel Clinics has recently received a number of requests for the quadrivalent vaccine from South Africans, and particularly grandparents, who are travelling abroad to see new grandchildren, as a pre-requirement for their visit, and want to ensure that they don't unwittingly put the new-born at risk of contracting whooping cough."

Whooping cough is most common during winter months. Early symptoms may be similar to a common cold, including a runny nose, dry cough and slight fever. Symptoms may worsen and include long bouts of coughing that can in turn cause an individual to vomit. Symptoms generally worsen at night and the coughing can last up to ten weeks. Early treatment with antibiotics can assist in reducing the infectious period and reduce the severity of the infection.

"Parents should seek urgent medical attention for their child should they show symptoms, including severe bouts of coughing, difficulty in breathing and/or turning blue during a bout of coughing, or if the child persistently vomits after coughing," advises Dr Vincent.

"Medicross and Netcare Travel Clinics can assist you with advice and vaccinations for you and your children to protect your health, and also when you are planning a holiday," concludes Dr Vincent.


Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Travel Clinics and Medicross
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email:,, or

(Video) Netcare Aeromedical Eps 2

Netcare travel clinics (2)

Malaria makes a comeback in SA

As the northern parts of South Africa head into their rainy summer season, visitors to areas where malaria is endemic are warned to pay the necessary attention to protecting themselves from the dangerous mosquito-borne illness.

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"Unfortunately, we haven't seen the last of malaria in South Africa, which by all indications is making something of a come back, and over the last year there have been a number of cases reported from areas where it was previously thought to have been eliminated, such as the Waterberg District in the north-east of Limpopo province," observed Dr Peter Vincent of Netcare Travel Clinics and Medicross Tokai.

"The rainy summer season in the northern parts of South Africa is associated with an increase in the numbers of malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito and a considerably enhanced risk of contracting the illness within the endemic areas of southern Africa. The risk is highest between September through to the following May, which is considered to be 'malaria season' in South Africa," added Dr Vincent.

Dr Vincent warned that malaria infection can result in serious, complications, particularly if it is not identified and treated at an early stage. He said that Netcare Travel Clinics is consequently advising travellers to do their homework before visiting areas where malaria may be present. This is particularly important as the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) recently proposed expanding the malaria risk areas within South Africa.

"Make sure you know where these areas are and understand what kinds of precautions may be necessary ahead of your trip. Malaria poses a risk in the northern parts of Limpopo province, eastern Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal as well as in parts of neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Dr Vincent noted that the NICD earlier this year, warned that there was an increased risk of acquiring malaria in endemic areas both inside and beyond the borders of the country. In addition, based on its infection data, the NICD has now proposed a change in its Malaria Risk Map for South Africa for the first time since 2013.

The map, which was published in the NICD's Communicable Diseases Communiqué of September 2018, and was yet to be approved by the Department of Health at the time of writing, proposes extending the low-risk malaria areas to as far west as Lephalale in Limpopo province and medium-risk areas to beyond Musina in the west, and Hoedspruit in the north west.

(Video) Netcare Linksfield Hospital Johannesburg, South Africa | Best Hospital in South Africa

The NICD recommends visitors to low-risk areas take precautions against being bitten by mosquitos, but advises additional measures, including the use of appropriate prophylaxis medications, when visiting medium- or high-risk areas in Southern Africa.

"Should any traveller to a malaria area develop flu-like symptoms for up to six months following their trip, they should have an urgent blood test for malaria. This is extremely important, as malaria is commonly misdiagnosed as flu and this can have serious, sometimes even fatal, consequences for the individual involved," warns Dr Vincent.

"When visiting one of the higher risk areas, we recommend you adopt a comprehensive prevention strategy that not only includes the use of a prophylaxis medication that is prescribed by your doctor, or travel clinic, but to also adopt the necessary measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitos," added Dr Vincent.

Dr Vincent advised those who are visiting any area where there may be a risk of contracting malaria, to use insect repellents containing DEET on all areas of the skin that are exposed, and to sleep under DEET-impregnated mosquito nets at all times of the year.

He pointed out, although it may be active throughout the day on overcast days, the malaria-carrying mosquito is usually a dusk to dawn feeder and advised people to change into long sleeved shirts and blouses, long trousers and socks as evening approaches.

"Many South Africans are still not aware of the very real dangers that malaria can pose to their health. Netcare Travel Clinics consequently urges them to keep this in mind ahead of travelling to a malaria area this summer, and to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families," concludes Dr Vincent.

The NICD's September 2018 Communicable Diseases Communiqué and proposed revised malaria prevalence map may be seen at the following web link:


Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Travel Clinics
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email:,, or

Netcare travel clinics (3)

(Video) Netcare Lecture Series #23 - The Comorbid COVID-19 Patient (24 August 2020) - Dr Nangamaso Kukulela

Tick infestations prompt warnings of tick borne diseases

Heavy tick infestations are being reported by visitors to areas such as the Botswana Central Kalahari Game reserves and the Waterberg in Limpopo, and Netcare travel clinics has cautioned travellers to these regions to take measures to protect themselves from tick-borne diseases.

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Netcare travel clinics (4)

Outbreaks stoke concerns that a severe flu season is in store for SA

The Super 15 Rugby season has kicked off with a bang in recent weeks, but the Stormers team had a most unfortunate start, with the ranks of their players dramatically thinned by what coach Robbie Fleck described as "a hectic strain of flu". Dr Pete Vincent of the Netcare travel clinics and Medicross Tokai family medical and dental centre, says although the influenza, or flu, 'season' is only just starting in South Africa, a number of people have already contracted the flu.

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Netcare travel clinics (5)

Travellers to Madagascar urged to take precautions following outbreak of plague

Friday, 20 October 2017, People who are planning to travel to Madagascar are advised to consult a travel doctor about means of preventing infection as the island country faces an outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague.

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How much do Travelling shots cost? ›

For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of travel vaccinations at a travel clinic typically includes an initial consultation fee of $15 to $100, a shot administration fee of $10 to $20 per shot, and the cost of the vaccines, which can range from less than $10 per dose to $150 or more per dose, depending ...

How long does a yellow fever vaccine last? ›

How long the yellow fever vaccine lasts. The yellow fever vaccine provides lifelong protection for most people. A further dose of vaccine is recommended for a small number of travellers who are visiting yellow fever risk areas, including those who were previously vaccinated when they were: pregnant.

How much is a yellow fever vaccination in South Africa? ›

The cost of a yellow fever vaccine in South Africa is about R 350.00* (excluding the consultation fee).

Do you need a yellow fever vaccination for South Africa? ›

South Africa requires a valid International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) documenting yellow fever vaccination ≥10 days before arrival in South Africa for all travelers aged ≥1 year traveling from or transiting for >12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever virus ...

How long are travel vaccines good for? ›

Two doses should protect you for at least 20 years. You should preferably have the initial dose at least 2 weeks before you leave, although it can be given up to the day of your departure if needed.

How much does malaria vaccine cost? ›

At a potential cost of about $5 per dose, researchers suggest the vaccine rollout, including its distribution, would cost around $325 million to administer each year across ten African countries with a high incidence of malaria.

Does Dischem give yellow fever injections? ›

We do not administer Yellow Fever Vaccines, only a travel clinic.

How much is a yellow fever vaccination? ›

Typical costs: For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of a yellow fever vaccination typically includes: a consultation fee, sometimes a fee to administer the shot, and the cost of the single required dose of vaccine. The total cost typically ranges from $150 to $350.

What happens at a travel clinic? ›

A clinic consultation is a risk assessment, completed face to face with one of our specialist travel health nurses at a London Travel Clinic convenient for you. The nurse will assess your individual travel plans and health background before making recommendations.

What countries require yellow fever vaccine for entry? ›

Countries that require vaccination for all travellers older that 9 months or 1 year: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameron, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d'lvoire, DRC, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Niger, Togo.

Which countries require yellow fever certificate? ›

Some key countries that require proof of yellow fever vaccination include:
  • Angola.
  • Burundi.
  • Cameroon.
  • Central African Republic.
  • Republic of Congo.
  • Côte d'Ivoire.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • French Guiana.
Dec 16, 2021

What travel documents do I need for South Africa? ›

If you are thinking about traveling to South Africa, the most important document you will need is a passport, which should be valid for at least six months from the date of your entry to the country. Regardless of whether you require a visa or not, you also need two completely blank facing pages on your passport.

Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to South Africa? ›

You no longer need to present a PCR test or vaccine certificate on arrival in South Africa.

Do we need malaria tablets for South Africa? ›

CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of South Africa take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip.

Do I really need travel vaccines? ›

Firstly, when you travel abroad, you may be exposed to infectious diseases like yellow fever, hepatitis B that the routine NHS immunisation schedule doesn't provide protection against. Hence you will need to get appropriate travel vaccinations to stay protected during your entire trip.

What vaccines should you get before traveling? ›

Here is a list of possible vaccines that you may need to get for the first time or boosters before you travel.
  • COVID-19.
  • Chickenpox.
  • Cholera.
  • Flu (Influenza)
  • Hepatitis A.
  • Hepatitis B.
  • Japanese encephalitis.
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)

Do I have to be vaccinated to fly? ›

If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will NOT be allowed to board a flight to the United States, unless you meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC's Amended Order. A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement.

Which is the best anti malaria tablets? ›

Artesunate Is the Best Choice for the Severe and Complicated Malaria Therapy.

How long does a malaria vaccine last? ›

In 2014, the World Health Assembly (of WHO) adopted the recommendation to amend the IHR by removing the 10-year booster dose requirement, and stipulated a 2-year transition period for this change.

What is the best vaccine for malaria? ›

The most effective malaria vaccine is R21/Matrix-M, with a 77% efficacy rate shown in initial trials and significantly higher antibody levels than with the RTS,S vaccine. It is the first vaccine that meets the World Health Organization's (WHO) goal of a malaria vaccine with at least 75% efficacy.

What services does a travel clinic provide? ›

Our services

Assessment of, and advice on, the health risks associated with your planned travel to specific destinations. General advice on travel health whether by land, air or sea, and on travelling under specific circumstances such as pregnancy or a chronic medical condition.

How do I get a yellow fever certificate? ›

Yellow fever vaccine is given only at designated vaccination centers. After getting the vaccine, you will be given an “International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis” (ICVP, sometimes called the “yellow card”). You will need this card as proof of vaccination to enter certain countries.

Can yellow fever vaccine make you sick? ›

Reactions to yellow fever vaccine are generally mild and include headaches, muscle aches, and low-grade fevers. Rarely, people develop severe, sometimes life-threatening reactions to the yellow fever vaccine, including: Allergic reaction, including difficulty breathing or swallowing (anaphylaxis)

Can you survive yellow fever? ›

Complications during the toxic phase of a yellow fever infection include kidney and liver failure, jaundice, delirium, and coma. People who survive the infection recover gradually over a period of several weeks to months, usually without significant organ damage.

Does yellow fever still exist today? ›

Today, yellow fever is endemic in tropical and subtropical regions of South America and Africa. While the development of a yellow fever vaccine (Theiler won a Nobel prize for this work) has saved countless lives over the years, the global burden of this disease is still high.

Do I have to wait 2 weeks after Covid vaccine to travel? ›

You can use this letter if you're travelling abroad, or going to an event, and need proof you've had your COVID-19 vaccination. If you're going to an event, you'll need to wait 2 weeks after you've been fully vaccinated before you can use this letter.

How much is the typhoid shot? ›

TYPHOID POLYSACCHARIDE VACCINE is used to prevent typhoid infection. The vaccine is recommended if you travel to parts of the world where typhoid is common. The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of Typhim VI is around $123.25, 13% off the average retail price of $143.12. Compare vaccinations.

What shots do you need to leave the country? ›

Which Travel Vaccines Will I Need?
  1. Hepatitis A.
  2. Hepatitis B.
  3. Typhoid and paratyphoid fever.
  4. Meningococcal disease.
  5. Yellow Fever.
  6. Rabies.
  7. Japanese Encephalitis.
Mar 15, 2011

How much does it cost for yellow fever injection? ›

Typical costs: For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of a yellow fever vaccination typically includes: a consultation fee, sometimes a fee to administer the shot, and the cost of the single required dose of vaccine. The total cost typically ranges from $150 to $350.

What vaccinations are free on NHS? ›

Which travel vaccines are free?
  • polio (given as a combined diphtheria/tetanus/polio jab)
  • typhoid.
  • hepatitis A.
  • cholera.


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