Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Jabs for India's Golden Triangle

 

Q. I would like to know what jabs I should have for travelling to India in November 2013. It is a tour of the "Golden Triangle".

Marian Ivory

A. India's Golden Triangle - the cultural trail linking Delhi, Agra and Jaipur - will be well worth the hassle of getting a few vaccinations. You will see the Taj Mahal at Agra, the elegant "Pink City" of Jaipur and India's vibrant capital.

The excellent NHS travel-medicine website fitfortravel.nhs.uk lets you browse the immunisations and precautionary measures you might need for any country in the world. It strongly recommends you get vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, poliomyelitis and hepatitis A before travelling to and around India.

Other vaccinations to consider are tuberculosis, hepatitis B, rabies, diphtheria, cholera and Japanese B encephalitis, but these are not listed as high priority for all travellers as they depend on the area of India you are visiting, or the time of year and the predicted weather conditions.

The key for travel vaccinations is to start planning well in advance. Both diphtheria and tuberculosis require a three-month incubation period before the start of the trip.

Start by consulting you GP (who will be able to advise if you are up-to-date with your polio and tetanus jabs); he or she may be able to provide the jabs, or direct you to a travel-medicine specialist such as MASTA or Nomad.

You need to also think about taking precautions for malaria, which present throughout the year in certain low-lying regions of India. Prevention is, of course, the best policy. Cover your arms and legs to prevent mosquito bites, especially from the evening onwards, and use insect repellent on exposed skin. Seek medical attention if you feel feverish either whilst in India or up to a year afterwards, as malaria can take time to develop fully.

* Additional research by Samantha Hunt

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