Preparing for Israel is exciting, but also daunting when figuring out which vaccinations for Israel are necessary for your trip. Read the recommendations below to stay safe and healthy.
Below you can find official recommendations concerning vaccinations for Israel. Not all jabs may be necessary, as that depends on different factors pertaining to your medical history and the details of your trip.
To be best informed on your personal needs, book a free telephone consultation with one of our prescribing nurses. They will create a unique vaccine plan for you.
There are health risks in Israel for which vaccinations do not exist. In these cases, it is important to be cautious.
There is a risk of leishmaniasis in Israel, an infection caused by sandfly bites which are active at night. Sandflies are tiny, hardly noticeable insects that can be found in forests, mud wall cracks and animal burrows. Those most at risk are adventure travellers and people active at night. Symptoms depend on the type of leishmaniasis, but include skin lesions, fever, weight loss and enlarged liver, which can develop several weeks or months after being infected.
Risk of west nile virus is present in Israel and contracted through mosquito bites during night-time. People usually do not show symptoms, although some may experience fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and swollen glands. In more severe cases, the illness can cause paralysis or coma, that can lead to neurological damage and, though rare, can be fatal.
Cases of avian influenza have been reported in Israel in infected birds. Bird flu viruses can rarely be transmitted to humans, however those in close exposure to infected birds or bird droppings should be careful. Seasonal influenza vaccines will not provide protection against avian influenza. Symptoms are similar to a flu, such as sore eyes, diarrhoea or stomach pain, but can lead to breathing difficulties.
It is important to take precautions during your stay in Israel, as the diseases can be spread in many different ways and the risk can increase at anytime.
There is a risk of leishmaniasis and west nile virus in Israel, and you cannot be protected against these diseases by vaccination.
Peak transmission of leishmaniasis occurs between April and October. Of the three major types of leishmaniasis, two are present in Israel. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is present in the Jordan Valley, particularly from the northern Dead Sea region to Massua, the wadis of the Negev Desert including Keziot, the Arava Valley and Samaria. Visceral leishmaniasis is reported in the Judean foothills of central Israel and the Galilee Region of northern Israel.
The presence of the west nile virus is widespread across Israel, with peak transmission from May to November.
There is a current investigation of bird flu cases in wild birds in Israel. Though infections from birds rarely cause illness in humans, you are advised to protect yourself against the main cause of these infections, which is infected birds, during your stay in the country.
If you feel ill after contact with birds in Israel, seek medical advice.
All travellers going to Israel should take care with food and water hygiene, as there is a risk of typhoid and hepatitis A, which are both transmitted through contaminated food and water.
If you are visiting friends or relatives in Israel or are a long-stay traveller, you are at increased risk of consuming contaminated food and drinks, and you should therefore be extra careful.
These are some of the most important services you may need while in Israel.
British Embassy Tel Aviv The British Embassy in Tel Aviv can provide assistance while you are there. You can reach them by calling +972 (0)3 725 1222.
Local emergency medical services For emergencies needing medical assistance, dial +972 112 to be connected to emergency services. To reach an ambulance, dial +972 101.
Medical facilities and practitioners In the case that you may get ill while in Israel, the British Embassy Tel Aviv has prepared a list of medical facilities and practitioners in Israel, so you have the relevant information available to find reputable medical help quickly.
Check if you need vaccinations Speak with one of our prescribing nurses at least six to eight weeks before travel for vaccinations for Israel
Insect protection Bring everything needed to avoid insect bites while in Israel, including DEET insect repellent
Travel insurance If you become ill in Israel and did not receive the right vaccinations before you left, your travel insurance can become void. So, make sure to check before you leave
Note useful contact numbers Keep a list of useful contacts to take with you to Israel in case of an emergency
Anne Marie Major, Independent Nurse Prescriber
June 20, 2019
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