Before taking a trip to Egypt and travelling along the River Nile, it is important to be aware of health risks in order to take preventative measures beforehand. Travellers should ensure that all recommended vaccines are taken care of before making their journey, and these include Hepatitis A, Typhoid, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) for travellers born after 1956 or those who have not been given the MMR vaccination in the past, and a tetanus booster if revaccination is required.
It is also advisable to avoid stray dogs and other feral animals to avoid the risk of being bitten. If a bite or scratch should occur, clean the wound with plenty of soap and water and visit the nearest medical practitioner immediately.
The parasitic infection schistosomiasis is present in the Nile valley and delta area, and swimming and bathing precautions must be observed in these areas. Travellers are advised not to swim or wade in fresh water, and to heat bathing or shower water to 150°F for five minutes before bathing.
This infection is acquired by contact with fresh water carrying parasitic eggs from those who are infected. The eggs hatch and infect fresh-water snails, undergoing development within the snail to emerge with the ability to penetrate human skin. The parasite will migrate to various organs where it can cause a number of symptoms, including fever, weight loss, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea. If left untreated it can cause kidney failure, seizures, and paralysis.