Travel Health: Europe: Western Europe
|Health Information for Travelers to
|Andorra, Austria, Azores, Belgium, Denmark, Faroe Island, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
NOTE: Please check the
section for important updates on this region.
The preventive measures
you need to take while traveling in Western Europe
depend on the areas you visit and the length of time
you stay. For most areas of this region, you should
observe health precautions similar to those that would
apply while traveling in the United States.
diarrhea, the number one illness in travelers,
can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites,
which can contaminate food or water. Infections may
cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella,
and parasites), fever (typhoid
fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage
(hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water
are safe. (See
encephalitis, a viral infection of the central
nervous system, occurs chiefly in Central and Western
Europe. Travelers are at risk who visit or work in
forested areas during the summer months and who
consume unpasteurized dairy products. The vaccine for
this disease is not available in the United States at
this time. To prevent tickborne
encephalitis, as well as Lyme
disease, travelers should take precautions to
prevent tick bites (see
There is no risk
for yellow fever in Western Europe. A certificate of yellow
fever vaccination may be required for entry into
certain of these countries if you are coming from
countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For
detailed information, see Comprehensive
Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements.
CDC recommends the
following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at
least 4�6 weeks before your trip to allow time for
shots to take effect.
A or immune globulin (IG). You are not at
increased risk in Northern, Western, and Southern
Europe, including the Mediterranean regions of
Italy and Greece.
B, if you might be exposed to blood (for
example, health-care workers), have sexual contact
with the local population, stay longer than 6
months in Southern Europe, or be exposed through
- As needed, booster
doses for tetanus-diphtheria.
B vaccine is now recommended for all infants
and for children ages 11�12 years who did not
complete the series as infants.
should take the following precautions, no matter the
- Wash hands often
with soap and water.
- Because motor
vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury
among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid
travel at night if possible and always use seat
- Always use latex
condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other
sexually transmitted diseases.
- Don�t eat or
drink dairy products unless you know they have
- Don�t share
needles with anyone.
- Never eat
undercooked ground beef and poultry, raw eggs, and
unpasteurized dairy products. Raw shellfish is
particularly dangerous to persons who have liver
disease or compromised immune systems. (Travelers
to Western Europe should also see the information
Spongiform Encephalopathy ["Mad Cow
Disease"] and New Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
Travelers to rural
or undeveloped areas should take the following
To stay healthy, do...
- Drink only bottled
or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in
cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks,
and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water
safer by BOTH filtering through an �absolute
1-micron or less� filter AND adding iodine
tablets to the filtered water. �Absolute
1-micron filters� are found in camping/outdoor
- Eat only
thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables
you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it,
cook it, peel it, or forget it.
yourself from mosquito bites:
mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts
and long pants.
- Use insect
repellents that contain DEET
- Apply insect
repellent to exposed skin. Mosquitoes that
transmit malaria bite between dusk and dawn.
- Unless you are
staying in air-conditioned or well-screened
housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with
the insecticide permethrin.
- For more
information on protecting yourself from insect
bites and DEET see Protection
against Mosquitoes and Other Arthropods.
- To prevent fungal
and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry,
and do not go barefoot.
To avoid getting
- Don�t eat food
purchased from street vendors. Do not drink
beverages with ice.
- Don�t handle
animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to
avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies
What you need
to bring with you:
- Insect repellent
- Bed nets
impregnated with permethrin (can be purchased in
camping or military supply stores).
antidiarrheal medicine to take if you have
- Iodine tablets and
water filters to purify water if bottled water is
not available. See Food
and Water Precautions and Travelers� Diarrhea
Prevention and Risks
from Food and Drink for more detailed
information about water filters.
medications: make sure you have enough to last
during your trip, as well as a copy of the
After you return
If you become ill
after your trip�even as long as a year after you
return�tell your doctor where you have traveled.
Ask your doctor or
check the CDC web sites for more information about how
to protect yourself against diseases that occur in
Western Europe, including the following:
For more information
about these and other diseases, please check the Diseases
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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