Country Information

Outbreak Surveillance

Clinical Updates

Information that may result in a change in travel advice

» All clinical updates

Japan

Map of Japan

Welcome to the NaTHNaC Country Information page.

The information on this page should be used as part of a comprehensive pre-travel health consultation. Ideally this should be scheduled at least six weeks prior to travel. All travellers should have adequate travel health insurance.

Contents

On this page:

Country Specific Links:

View Disclaimer


Recent Clinical Updates

Clinical Updates provide information which may result in a change in travel health advice or practice.

Recent Clinical Updates for this country are listed below:

1 April 2014:
Measles and travel: update March 2014

View a full list of Clinical Updates for this country.


General Health Risks


Vaccine Preventable Risks

Travellers should be up to date with routinely recommended vaccinations according to the UK schedule:

Yellow Fever

Vaccine Preventable Risks: Yellow Fever | Additional Risks | Back to Top

YELLOW FEVER

There is no risk of yellow fever in this country and there are no certificate requirements under International Health Regulations (2005).

Additional Risks

Vaccine Preventable Risks: Yellow Fever | Additional Risks | Back to Top

The diseases below may be a risk in all or part of the country and are presented alphabetically:

Hepatitis A, link_hepb_newrisk.htmHepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, link_rabies_newbat.htmRabies, Tetanus, link_tbe_jp.htmTick-borne encephalitis

HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver. A map showing the global areas at risk for hepatitis A can be found here (102 KB GIF)

Risk assessment
Risk management
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC health information sheet on hepatitis A

Department of Health: Immunisation against infectious disease (Green Book)  - Hepatitis A

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Prevention of Food and Water-Borne Diseases

Travellers

NaTHNaC health Information Sheet on Hepatitis A

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Prevention of Food and Water-Borne Diseases

disease_hepb_newrisk.htm

HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver and may lead to chronic complications.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should avoid contact with blood or bodily fluids. Where contact is unavoidable, appropriate protective precautions should be taken.
  • A sterile medical kit should be carried.
  • Vaccination should be considered for all adult and child travellers.
  • Vaccination is recommended for travellers at higher risk of exposure including those who:

 - may have unprotected sex

 - may be directly exposed to blood or blood products through their occupation, such as healthcare professionals are participating in contact sports

 - may be exposed to contaminated needles through injecting drug use, or as a result of accessing medical or dental care e.g. those with pre-existing medical conditions and those travelling for medical care

 - intend to undergo renal dialysis whilst overseas

 - are adopting children from the country

 - long stay travellers.

Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Hepatitis B

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Hepatitis B

JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system.

Risk assessment
  • EpidemiologyInformation on the occurrence of disease within this country - JE occurs in this country. The transmission season is June to September, except on Ryuku Islands (Okinawa) where the season is April to December. Local human JE incidence rates may not accurately reflect the risks to non-immune visitors because of high vaccination rates in local populations. High levels of viral transmission can occur in the absence of human disease.
  • ExposureInformation on the mode of transmission and factors that may increase disease risk - JE virus is transmitted to humans from animals (mainly pigs) and birds via the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Culex mosquitoes feed predominantly during the hours from dusk to dawn. Short-term travellers and those who restrict their visits to urban areas are at very low risk. Those at higher risk are travellers who visit or work in rural agricultural areas such as rice fields and marshland. Long-term travellers and expatriates are also at higher risk.
Risk management
  • Travellers should take mosquito bite avoidance measures. Culex mosquitoes feed predominantly during the hours from dusk to dawn.
  • Vaccination should be givenAll travellers in risk categories should receive vaccine to travellers whose planned activities put them at higher risk (see above).
  • There are specific contraindications and adverse events associated with JE vaccine. A careful risk assessment should be made before administration and specialist advice sought as appropriate.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Japanese Encephalitis

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Japanese Encephalitis

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

disease_rabies_newbat.htm

RABIES

Rabies has not been reported in domestic or wild animals in this country however, bats may carry rabies-like viruses.

 

Risk assessment
  • ExposureInformation on the mode of transmission and factors that may increase disease risk - Rabies transmission may occur following contact with the saliva of an infected bat (via bites, scratches or saliva contact with mucous membranes). Bites from bats are frequently unrecognised. The risk of exposure to bats may be increased for certain occupations e.g. veterinarians.

    Children are at increased risk as they are less likely to avoid contact with animals and to report a bite or lick.

Risk management
  • Travellers should avoid contact with bats.
  • Pre-exposure vaccination should be considered for adults and children who are at increased risk (see above).
  • Following a bite, wounds should be thoroughly cleansed and an urgent medical assessment sought, even if the wound appears trivial. Prompt post-exposure treatmentis required, even if pre-exposure vaccine has been received.
  • Post-exposure management and advice on return to the UK should be in  accordance with PHE guidelines.

Suitable vaccine and immunoglobulin may be in short supply or unavailable in some countries.

Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Rabies

Department of Health. Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

Public Health England: Rabies


Wolrd Animal Health Information Database (OIE)

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Rabies

TETANUS

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released from Clostridium tetani bacteria.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should thoroughly clean all wounds and seek appropriate medical attention
  • Travellers should have completed a primary vaccination course according to the UK schedule.
  • A booster dose should be givenAll travellers in risk categories should receive vaccine to travellers whose last dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine was given more than 10 years ago, and who will not have ready access to medical care; even if they have received five doses previously.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Tetanus

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Tetanus

disease_tbe_jp.htm

TICK-BORNE ENCEPHALITIS

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should take tick bite avoidance measures during outdoor activities.
  • Travellers should check themselves for ticks and be aware of effective tick removal methods.
  • Travellers should not eat or drink unpasteurised milk products.
  • TBE vaccine is not normally given to travellers to this country.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Tick-Borne Encephalitis

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance

Department of Health Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book)

International Scientific-Working Group on Tick-Borne Encephalitis

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Tick-Borne Encephalitis

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Insect Bite Avoidance


Non-Vaccine Preventable Risks

This section details infectious disease risks for which there are no vaccines as well as some non-infectious disease risks. This is not an exhaustive list. Further information about infectious and non-infectious disease risks can be found on the NaTHNaC Health Information Sheets. Travellers should be aware that accidents and injuries are a cause of serious illness during travel.

Malaria

Non-Vaccine Preventable Risks: Malaria | Additional Risks | Back to Top

MALARIA

There is no risk of malaria in this country.

Additional Risks

Non-Vaccine Preventable Risks: Malaria | Additional Risks | Back to Top

The risks below may be a risk in all or part of the country and are presented alphabetically:

Altitude, link_schisto_inter.htmSchistosomiasis

ALTITUDE

There is a point of elevation in this country higher than 2,500 metres (m).

Risk assessment
  • Travel to destinations of 2,500-3,500 m (8,200-11,500 feet) or higher carries the risk of altitude illness. Important risk factors for altitude illness are the altitude gained, rate of ascent and sleeping altitude. Rapid ascent without a period of acclimatisation puts a traveller at higher risk.
Risk management
  • The most important prevention measure is adequate acclimatisation.
  • Travellers should spend a few days at an intermediate altitude below 3,000 m.
  • Ascent above 3,000 m should be gradual with no more than a 300 - 500 m increase in sleeping altitude per day, with a rest day every three days.
  • Acetazolamide is recognised for use in the prevention of altitude illness. It should not replace acclimatisation and gradual ascent.
  • Travellers who develop symptoms of altitude illness (headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and sleep disturbance) should avoid further ascent. In the absence of improvement or with progression of symptoms the first response should be to descend.
  • Development of more severe forms of altitude illness, high-altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) (confusion, difficulty with balance and coordination) or high-altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) (shortness of breath at rest, cough and chest tightness), require immediate descent and emergency medical treatment.
Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Altitude Illness

British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Mountain Medicine website

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Altitude Illness

British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Mountain Medicine website

disease_schisto_inter.htm

SCHISTOSOMIASIS

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic flatworm infection of the intestinal or urinary system caused by one of several species of Schistosoma.

Risk assessment
Risk management
  • Travellers should avoid wading, swimming, or bathing in fresh water.

  • Swimming in chlorinated water or sea water is not a risk for schistosomiasis.

  • Topical application of insect repellent before exposure to water, or towel drying after accidental exposure to schistosomiasis are not reliable in preventing infection.

  • There is no vaccine or tablets to prevent schistosomiasis.

  • Travellers who may have been exposed to schistosomiasis should have a medical assessment.

Resources
Health Professionals

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Schistosomiasis

Travellers

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Schistosomiasis


Disclaimer

The travel health information contained in these pages is intended for health professionals who assess a patients travel health needs. This document is not a complete medical guide for travellers and as such travellers using this site should consult with a health professional for specific information related to your travel and medical history. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the travel health information, NaTHNaC cannot accept any liability for injury, loss or damage arising in any respect of any statement contained therein.

For the purpose of these web pages the term "country" covers countries, territories and areas. Areas within a country may be shown separately where it is felt necessary in order to provide travel health information.