Flu Season Ahead

Getting Vaccinated is the Best Defence Against the Flu

You may have had the flu vaccine before and think you don’t need to have it again.

The strains and strengths of the flu virus vary every year, so you should strongly consider being re-vaccinated every flu season to remain protected.

The flu vaccine assists your body to fight off these seasonal infections and reduces your chance of illness and complications, so make sure you’re protected and get the full benefit of the flu vaccine, by getting vaccinated as soon as you can.

You should try to do this during March or early April as the vaccine becomes available, before the flu starts to spread, in order to maximise your immunity.

Why Vaccinate

Influenza is quite different to the Common Cold. Commonly known as ‘the flu’, it is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system –

your nose, throat and lungs.

Particularly in higher risk groups, with reduced immunity, the flu can lead to serious, life-threatening complications, especially worsening of existing health problems and pneumonia.

Who is Considered High Risk?


Flu Vaccination


  • Adults who are 65 years and older
  • Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy
  • People with chronic pulmonary (including COPD, asthma), cardiovascular (including
    congestive heart failure, congenital heart disease), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic,
    or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
  • People who are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by
    medications or by Human Immunodeficiency Virus). .


Untreated flu may complicate into pneumonia. Pneumonia-causing organisms can be picked up from people who cough or sneeze around you. Even if it gets good medical care, pneumonia can still be very dangerous to one’s health.

The following people are at greater risk of getting pneumococcal disease:

  • Adults who are 65 years and older
  • Children younger than 2 years old and those in group child care
  • People with chronic illnesses (lung, heart, liver, kidney disease, asthma,
    diabetes, COPD or alcoholism)
  • People with conditions that weaken the immune system (HIV/AIDS, cancer,
    or damaged/absent spleen)

Getting the flu shot can save lives! Tell your family and friends to get vaccinated as well!

Call us now: 011 440 5325 or 011 440 5326 or 082 457 0176

or you can Contact Us

A dog with rabies

RABIES: Beware… what you should know!

A  dog with rabies loses territorial instincts and may wander long distances and so shows up unexpectedly and is called “Stray”.
However, studies have shown there is no significant stray dog population in KZN. Therefore, almost all rabid dogs were owned but unvaccinated and so contracted the disease.
Dogs are transported by people all over the country, and with a longish incubation normally 2 weeks or longer, can appear anywhere at any time. Rabies has been found in Johannesburg having come from KZN before. This means that although we consider some areas more dangerous than others it could pitch up anywhere.
Therefore, a message of caution especially to children must be spread abroad to avoid contact with any unknown dog or animal that is acting strangely.


Main Symptoms of rabies in dogs:

  • Owner will see a change in behaviour as brain of dog fills with virus.
  • Dog will wander off (Many cases are recorded as strays)
  • Agitation as the dog does not know what is happening to it.
  • Strange vocalizations – howling barking.
  • Salivation, can’t swallow, appears to have something stuck in throat.
  • Dehydration (Rabid dogs are rarely scared of water) as they cannot drink throat is paralysed, but will try.
  • Chewing strange objects.
  • Will bite at the air as if there are flies around it.
  • Aggression – Can be unprovoked but often biting will only occur when stimulated by sound touch, movement etc.
  • Paralysis often of back legs.
  • Depression – sickly looking
  • Staring eyes
  • Death occurs normally within three days of first signs

Rabies in Humans:

Rabies is the most fatal disease known to man, once the virus attaches to a nerve cell (which they like) it is 100% fatal with no treatment available once symptoms start.
It is however 100% preventable with the correct treatment is given when the bite happens (Therefore timing is everything).
The incubation period can be from 10 days to two years.
It is one of the most horrific ways to die. It can appear as demon possession and brings fear to the whole community. All victims will die in a few days following the start of symptoms, fully aware of what is happening.

  • Fear of water
  • Sensitive to wind, noise, touch etc.
  • Hallucinations, Fear, Anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Salivation
  • Aggression
  • Paralysis, incoordination
  • Difficult to breath
  • Coma
  • Death

Message to people who have been bitten:

  1. Wash wound under running water for more than 5 min.
  2. Clean wound with any disinfectant.

A dog bite in KZN is seen as an emergency and an ambulance can be called if transport is problem.
Treatment consists of four injections on day 0;3;7;14 which MUST BE COMPLETED!!!!
If a bad bite, additional injections will be done into the wound.

Rabies Vaccination

Travel Doc offers a Rabies Vaccination. In South Africa this vaccination is recommended for people with potential for occupational exposure eg. veterinary staff, wild life handlers, lab personal working with rabies virus and animal welfare staff. The vaccination is also recommended for long term travelers to high risk areas in South Africa especially for young children living close to the local population and their dogs.

For overseas travel: rabies vaccinations is not advised for routine overseas travel however it should be considered for travelers visiting regions in the world where canine rabies regularly affects animals and where contact with animals is probable and immediate access to appropriate treatment is limited – such as travel in the backpacking or adventure category (adventure travel to Asia, Indian sub-continent, South America or trans-Africa overland trips).

Call Travel Doc 011 440 5325 or 011 440 5326 or 082 457 0176

or Contact Us for more info

Communicated By: Mr Kevin Le Roux (Provincial Government of Kwa-Zulu Natal)

What is Yellow Fever?

What is Yellow Fever?


Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding.

How to Prevent Yellow Fever?

1) Use insect repellent.

2) Wear proper clothing to reduce mosquito bites.

3) Be aware of peak mosquito hours: peak biting times for many mosquito species is dusk to dawn. However, one of the mosquitoes that transmits yellow fever virus, feeds during the daytime.

4) Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for people aged ≥9 months who are traveling to or living in areas with risk for YFV transmission in South America and Africa. In addition, some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination for entry.

Do you need a Yellow Fever vaccination? Call Travel Doc 011 440 5325 or 011 440 5326 or 0824570176

Yellow Fever Map for South America

What is Yellow Fever? Yellow Fever Map for South America
Yellow Fever Map for South America

Yellow Fever Map for Africa

What is Yellow Fever - Yellow Fever Map for Africa
Yellow Fever Map for Africa

Info and pictures are taken from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Website