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EGYPTIAN TRAVELLERS




My wife and I intend to go to Egypt at the end of August and I would like to know what your experts consider are the measures we can take prior to this.

We have been advised with regard to smallpox and typhoid but I am concerned about ye/low fever and especially about dysentery. Are there any required safe prophylactic measures for dysentery? Failing that, can you advise me about the most suitable drug to take should either of us develop dysentery whilst sailing up the Nile from Cairo to Aswan?

Vaccination can be divided into two distinct categories. First, those which are required by International Health Regulations and second, those which are medically recommended. In the first group,


travellers proceeding direct from the UK to Egypt do not require vaccination against smallpox, cholera or yellow fever from June 1, 1979. Yellow fever is only required if the travellers have come up from the south through the Sudan. For the medically recommended vaccinations, all travellers to Egypt should be adequately protected against typhoid tetanus and poliomyelitis. Infective hepatitis is prevalent in Egypt and so an injection of gamma globulin should be considered: 2 ml gives a family adequate cover for two months and 5 ml for 4 to 6 months.

Regarding protection against dysentery and other causes of diarrhoea, sensible food hygiene precautions are most important but the use of Streptotriad, one tablet twice daily whilst away and for the first 2 days after return has been found to be the most effective prophylactic. The 10 commandments for the prevention of diarrhoea are as follows.

(1) Boil all drinking water or milk.

(2) Be very careful of shellfish — preferably see them alive
first.

(3) All cooked food to be well and recently cooked.

(4) All fruit, including tomatoes, to be peeled.

(5) Lettuce and unpeeled fruit sterilized by chlorination — no
watercress.

(6) No leftovers or food on display.

(7) Be wary of local ice cream — only from large firms.,

(8) No food from street hawkers.

(9) Avoid fly-infested restaurants. (10) Take one tablet of
Streptotriad twice daily. Lomotil (Searle) or Imodium (Janssen)
are certainly the most effective therapeutic agents for acute
diarrhoea. Lomotil must not be given to anyone with an atropine
sensitivity.



There are two other points which must be remembered.

(1) Outside Cairo malaria is prevalent up the Nile Valley so
an antimalarial should be taken. One tablet of Paludrine daily whilst
away and for 28 days after leaving the malarious area is recom­
mended.

(2) 'Schistosomiasis haematobium' is rampant in the Nile Valley
and there should be no fresh-water bathing.


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