It is vital that every participant visits their doctor or travel clinic at least 2 months prior to departure in order to get the latest advice on vaccinations and medications for the region. Some people are not able to have certain injections, so we cannot give blanket advice over which vaccinations you need. It is also worth checking the Travel Health Pro website or the Centres for Disease Control for up to date advice. This advice is based primarily on UK government guidance, and if local advice is preferred this should be sought separately.
Everybody must see a doctor or travel nurse to get official advice on which vaccinations are necessary.
Rabies: Your health professional may ask you whether you will be at an increased risk of rabies. It is not compulsory to get the rabies vaccinations as you will not generally be handling mammals and we have protocols in place to ensure that in the very unlikely event that you were bitten by a potential rabies vector, appropriate treatment could be given. However if you are in Transylvania for 4 weeks or more, there is a possibility that you will be able to assist with the handling of bats if you have the full course of rabies pre-exposure vaccinations before your expedition.
Tick Borne Diseases (e.g Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme’s Disease): Ticks are present in the grasslands of the region that we are operating in, and due to the nature of the expedition there is a chance that individuals may pick them up on walks. The main preventative measure against ticks is to create a barrier – we require that all people in the field wear long trousers and closed shoes when working in the grasslands. We also advise that they spray the base of their trousers with insect repellent as an additional measure. There is the risk that the occasional tick may penetrate barrier methods, so we also ask that all participants thoroughly check themselves upon returning to camp so that any attached ticks can be promptly removed. Even in those circumstances where a tick has attached, the risk of getting a tick-borne disease is extremely small, especially if removed as soon as it has been detected. There are studies stating that infections can only transmit 24 to 48 hours after the tick attaches. The two potential tick-borne diseases to be aware of are Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme’s disease. There is currently no vaccine available for Lyme’s disease, so the primary preventative method remains to use effective barriers. It is possible to be vaccinated against TBE although the vaccine comes at an extra cost and may not be available in some countries, so we do not class it as a mandatory vaccination for the expedition – though would recommend getting it if feasible. There is very little information of the incidence rate of TBE in Romania, but what is available shows that it is primarily found in the north western provinces (away from our expedition sites) with less than 10 cases countrywide annually. (Source)
Yellow Fever: The yellow fever vaccination is not currently advised for travel to the area that we are working in. However, if you are travelling through or from a yellow fever zone, then you must make sure that you have had the yellow fever vaccination and that you carry your proof of vaccination. Click here for the World Health Organisation’s advice on yellow fever vaccination requirements for international travellers to any country.
HIV/Aids and Hepatitis B are present in some form in each country that Operation Wallacea operates in, but there is no reason why this should present a problem providing you always act responsibly and practice safe sex.
There is a Hepatitis B vaccine available, as with all other vaccines follow the advice given by your medical professional regarding receiving it.
The effectiveness of the contraceptive pill is compromised in the instance of sickness, diarrhoea and whilst taking antibiotics so please bring alternative methods of contraception, even if you are travelling with your partner.