Travel Health Information For Western Europe

Encompassing France, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Austria and Belgium among others, Western Europe is a dream destination on the list of most travelers desired holiday hot spots. The region boasts cobblestone streets, ancient cities, sun-drenched beaches and a rich history. Western Europe simply is a must do travel holiday destination.


Germany is one of the safest tourist destinations in the world which makes it a popular destination for tourists to the region. Cultural tourism is most popular in the country with Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg among the most visited cities within Germany. Visits to the country for educational and business purposes is common, with many travelers visiting from other parts of Europe for business and pleasure.


There are a number of protected natural areas within Germany for those with an appreciation for all things natural including as the Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and the Jasmund National Park which attract millions of tourists each year.


The city sights and beautiful countryside combine to provide the perfect Austrian experience for holiday makers to the region. Vienna is well famed for its architectural magnificence and is just as enticing as the snow capped mountain peaks and translucent lakes that you'll find when traveling off the beaten track in Austria.

Austria's Imperial past simply must be seen to be believed with Baroque palaces and the bejeweled concert halls of Vienna dotted throughout the city. Tourists visiting the city can take in the ambience of the grand Schonbrunn Palace and formal gardens, Gothic St. Stephen's Cathedral and Art Nouveau.


Nestled between France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, Belgium is a small country and known as the meeting point between both the Latin and Germanic cultures. Belgium is the well known headquarters of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Belgium boasts a beautiful wooded countryside with charming villages, lively cities and famous cuisine. For many reasons Belgium is fast becoming the number one destination for those with a taste for authentic and historical Europe.



At the very heart of Europe, Switzerland has a total of four official languages and boasts a rich cultural diversity. It is home to snow-capped summits and lakes and delightful cities and towns which are often decorated with flower decorated houses and green pastures. Apart from the most spectacular scenery, the country also has an international reputation that is synonymous with quality and efficiency.

Switzerland’s lake and mountain scenery certainly take centre stage with a cable car ride or scenic train journey on the 'must do' list for any traveler. Those who make the journey are rewarded with fresh mountain air and unforgettable views.


France is of course without a doubt the most popular of all the countries throughout Europe. If you have an eye for art, architecture and gastronomy then your journey to France will surely be an unforgettable one.


Tourists can visit WWI Battlefields in the north of the country, or head to the southern sun drenched landscapes of Provence and experience everything in between. Scale the heights of the Eiffel Tower, sip red wine in Burgundy or perhaps a white wine in Alsace. For lovers of Champagne, a visit to it's namesake should be on your list. Art lovers can spend the day taking in the magnificence of a visit to The Louvre or follow the impressionist's trail to Monet’s house at Giverny.

The following information provides the traveler with a list of known exposure risks for those considering traveling to Western Europe. Always consult with your Doctor before traveling overseas.

When heading away to any destination, older travelers should take the time to undertake and pre-prepare for their journey away from home. Different climates and conditions can sometimes pose a risk to travelers of any age, with many unknowingly placing themselves at risk of exposure to illness or disease.

Note: The following material has been provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. No person should act, fail to act, disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking professional medical advice on the basis of this material. The Travelnanna website, nor its representatives does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any of this information and will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury directly or indirectly caused by this material or its use.


This very common infectious disease can now be prevented through immunization. Many people miss the disease in childhood only to have a significant illness as an adult.

Hepatitis A

This is a viral disease of the liver which is transmitted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

Hepatitis B

This is a viral disease of the liver that is transmitted via blood, blood products or bodily fluids and is vaccine preventable.


Travelers go through crowded venues like airports, or on commuter transport. Influenza is the most common vaccine to prevent travel related illness. Vaccination against influenza is generally highly recommended.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Vaccination is recommended for travelers born after 1966 who cannot confirm that they have received two doses of measles containing vaccine. Since 1990, this may have been the combination vaccine MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).

Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease is a very serious bacterial infection which is often life-threatening. It may manifest as meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain)and/or septicaemia (blood poisoning).


Rabies is a deadly viral infection of the brain. Risk increases with extended travel and the likelihood of animal contact.

Tetanus, Pertussis, Diphtheria

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released by common dust or soil bacteria which enters the body through a wound. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection of the throat and less frequently, the skin. Pertussis or whooping cough (known as the 100 day cough in Chinese) is a highly infectious respiratory infection responsible for over 300,000 deaths annually, mainly in children. These three illnesses are preventable and covered in the same vaccine.

Tick-borne Encephalitis

Travellers who walk through infected areas during tick season would warrant vaccination against TBE. TBE vaccines are readily available in Europe but not in Australia or a number of other countries. Check with your local travel doctor before leaving home.

Traveler’s Diarrhoea

Up to 40% of tourists may develop three or more loose bowel motions a day within the first week of travel. A variety of germs can be responsible for this infection and a travelers may choose to pack products such as Gastro-Stop to remedy the problem quickly.


Sandra Hawkins

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