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Derek Evans

Welcome to Evans Travel Health

Blog     posted on Wednesday 4th August 2021

       How to prepare for Travel Medicine post-Covid

"We are all aware of that the impact of Covid infections has had on travel and continues to do. With the advent of vaccination programs and sophisticated testing and recording systems in place travel is starting to increase.

However the types of travel such as short haul continues to expand according to the determination of national governments whilst long haul remains dormant. The traveller groups have changed and the emphasis on routine vaccinations being sought by first time travellers going to exotic destinations has shifted to business and essential workers.

With this in mind the marketing of any specific travel medicine services will need to understand these changes. Following lockdowns and extended restrictions many travellers are now attempting to visit families and friends (VFRs) who they have only seen through video links. These VFRs will be a key target group during the revival of travel medicine demands and services.

A key part of the practitioners will be the flexibility to react to short time departures and supply necessary vaccines and medication where required. This parallels with the quick turn around that Covid tests are required for entry into another country before departure from the UK. It seems that a mix of PCR and rapid antigen tests are required within a range of departure times from 24 to 96 hours before departure.

The underlying point here is that this increased cost needs to be allowed for during any travel consultation and also the returning costs of testing and/or isolation. It is unlikely that these costs will be removed in the short term and certainly Covid will become another disease to be routinely covered during a travel medicine risk assessment."



Posted on May 6, 2017 at 12:15 AM


With this season's climbing season well on the way and expectations of summits in the next few days, is it not amazing to read that in between the serious climbers and outdoor specialists there are now breakfast trips to Everest Base Camp (EBC), as reported in a national newspaper.


The new breakfast club is a helicopter journey up to base camp for a 15 minute breakfast (tourists not sufficiently acclimatised at altitude cannot stay any longer) and then return to Kathmandu. The opportunity to take your selfie whilst in the snow, sipping champagne and eating a pre-cooked breakfast steps over the boundary of the technical explorer and shows how quickly the world is shrinking.


Ever since Sagamathar was renamed Everest, individuals have applied detailed planning to reach EBC. At that time the recommended trekking route took 10-12 days and was undertaken only by those who has the guile and want to achieve the trek.


With the new relaxation of helicopter flights along with the fun sense of quick adventures the new tourist is on the mountain. It does not require any further description of how the 2 different communities will consider the visit of the other to EBC. However there is a commonality that exists between them- both groups are travellers going for different reasons to the same location. Neither one can consider themselves to have ownership of the slopes nor indeed the access to EBC; however where a difference will occur is in the risk to acute mountain sickness (AMS) and the medical assistance required to support a patient.

The experienced traveller will be familiar with this altitude and will have acclimatised on their approach to EBC, to survive for up to several weeks before a summit attempt. Their body will have adjusted to the lower air pressures; they may take preventative medication and be used to the sleep disturbances that can occur at this altitude. Fast forward to the incoming helicopter flight of selfie seekers looking for an extreme exposure photograph. They will be required to disembark; take the selfies; consume a pop-up breakfast and embark again. All within 15 minutes; according to the advert to prevent signs of AMS.


Experience with any such prepaid party is that they will exhibit behaviours that want to push the time limits to the maximum and beyond. Where does this now place the patient who is late and starts to show AMS symptoms? The advice travel medicine specialists always suggest, is to move to lower altitude; but this is contrary to the grain of the selfie-seeker who has paid a large sum of money for the experience. With this type of risk taking and a longer period at altitude, the patient is likely to feel worse and they may not want to travel in a helicopter until feeling better. Hence we have the downward spiral of events with the potential of staff trying to persuade a noncompliant patient to leave and jeopardising the health of the passengers as they remain at altitude.

Whereas no-one has ownership of landing at EBC here is now a position where commercialism has pushed the boundary without fully advertising the risks that may occur if travellers are not compliant to specialist travel advice.

For the purist climber it remains an invasion of their domain, just as the British Climbing teams did when Nepal opened its borders in the last century. However the purist usually has a knowledge of survival skills required for this altitude. The new fast adventure group does not always have these developed skills and requires more advice and support in the correct attitude towards survival at altitude. These specialist tour operators need to be aware of the responsibility under the ABTA Code of Conduct to indicate a referral to travel health specialists.

(Reference: )

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