This small country is situated between France and Spain. Because of its elevation and proximity to the Pyrenees the climate is generally pleasant throughout the year.
During the summer months the temperatures can rise to 30c but there is usually a cooling breeze. Lightening storms can occur during the summer months associated with torrential rain.
Sun Exposure and Dehydration
Those from Northern Europe can develop significant sun exposure and so remember to use a wide brimmed hat when necessary. The altitude can also lead to significant tiredness and dehydration so take sufficient initial rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Safety & Security
The level of crime throughout the country directed at tourists is very low. Nevertheless take care of your personal belongings at all times and use hotel safety boxes where possible.
There are strict laws regarding the use of illegal drugs. Make sure you have sufficient supplies of any medication you required for your trip and that it is clearly marked. The European E111 form is not accepted in Andorra and so it is essential that you have sufficient travel insurance for your trip.
Andorra is one of the regions where many travel to partake of their winter sport facilities. Generally this is well controlled and one of the safer regions. Nevertheless, make certain your travel insurance is adequate for the activities you are planning to undertake.
The only standard vaccine to consider for Andorra would be tetanus in line with many other developed countries of the world.
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Andorra la Vella, Andorra, July 12, 2018 (AFP) - The tax haven of Andorra has long been a favourite destination for smokers looking to stock up on cheap cigarettes, but the enclave said Thursday that it would soon stop advertising the fact. The government said it had signed up to the World Health Organization's (WHO) anti-tobacco convention, which aims to encourage people to quit smoking and combat contraband sales. "The goal is to contribute to public health and pursue the fight against trafficking," government spokesman Jordi Cinca said at a press conference.
The tiny principality of Andorra, perched in the Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain, attracts millions of shoppers each year to duty-free stores, where prices of alcohol, cigarettes, electronics and clothes can be up to 20 percent cheaper than elsewhere in the EU. High taxes on tobacco imposed by many countries to help people kick smoking make Andorra's cigarettes a particularly good deal. The average pack costs just three euros ($3.50) compared with eight euros in France, which has said it will gradually raise the price to 10 euros a pack by November 2020.
Tobacco sales bring in some 110 million euros a year for Andorra, whose economy is otherwise based almost entirely on tourism. It is also an enticing destination for smugglers, with French and Spanish border agents regularly seizing cartons from people trying to sneak them out, either by car or by hiking down the mountain trails which criss-cross the Pyrenees. No date has been set for the advertising ban, which will come into effect three months after the ratification of the WHO accord is voted by parliament.
Andorra la Vella, Andorra, March 16, 2018 (AFP) - The tiny principality of Andorra is witnessing a once in a generation phenomenon -- a widespread strike. Around a third of civil servants across the mountainous micro-state have walked out to protest proposed reforms to their sector in what has been described as Andorra's first large-scale strike since 1933.
With no negotiation breakthrough in sight, picket lines are expected to be manned again on Friday with customs officers, police, teachers and prison staff among those taking part. The first major strike in 85 years was sparked by plans from the government of Antoni Marti to reform civil servant contracts. He has assured officials "will not do an hour more" work under the reforms and that 49 million euros would be allocated for the next 25 years to supplement civil servant salaries. But government workers are unconvinced with unions warning the reforms could risk their 35 hour working week and pay.
Customs officers involved in the strike interrupted traffic on the Andorran-Spanish border this week, according to unions, while some 80 percent of teachers have walked out of classes. Strikers have occupied the government's main administrative building and held noisy protests outside parliament calling for Marti's resignation. "We have started collecting signatures to demand the resignation of the head of government and now nobody will stop us," Gabriel Ubach, spokesman for the public service union, told reporters.
ANDORRA LA VELLA, Andorra, Dec 26, 2013 (AFP) - A Spanish skier and a French snowboarder have died in avalanches in different mountain ranges in Europe, officials said Thursday.
The 27-year-old skier, a woman from Barcelona, died Wednesday while going off-piste alone in the Soldeu resort in Andorra, in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, a resort manager told AFP. Although she was rescued within 10 minutes, after her glove was spotted on the surface, she was unable to be revived despite a helicopter dash to hospital.
In the Italian Alps, close to the border with France, a 24-year-old Frenchman who was snowboarding with three friends on a closed run died Thursday when an avalanche swept over him in the resort town of Les Arnauds. Local officials said he succumbed to multiple injuries, asphyxia and hypothermia.
Avalanches are common in Europe's ski resorts at this time of year, when early snows are heavy with moisture, and several deaths occur each winter. Last Sunday, a 35-year-old Frenchman died in an avalanche in the Alps near the Italian border while on a three-day trek with a friend.
Kenya is situated on the east coast of Tropical Africa and is one of the most popular tourist resorts in the continent. The country is bounded by Ethiopia and Somalia in the north, Ugan
Nairobi is situated at approx. 6000' and has a mild climate throughout the year. Malaria prophylaxis is not usually recommended for those visiting Nairobi city alone. The main rains tend to fall in April and May or October and November. The annual rainfall tends to be about 39 inches but significant variations can occur. Mombasa, on the coast, has a much more tropical climate and travellers will need to take more care with regard to personal hygiene and also serious protection against mosquito bites.
Health Care Facilities:
In general, travellers to Nairobi find that the level of health care facilities are good. All doctors in Kenya speak English and the level of care they provide is usually excellent for the holiday maker. As in many other countries in central Africa, the screening of blood against various viral agents cannot be assured and so travellers should avoid all but essential of blood transfusions. Sterile needles and syringes are in good supply in the major towns and so a syringe kit is not usually necessary. All of the larger hotels will have their own English speaking medical officer, though travellers are usually asked to pay cash. There are many hotels and restaurants providing excellent menu facilities and food borne disease can usually be traced to eating salads or undercooked bivalve shellfish.
Swimming in Kenya:
In all the major tourist resorts throughout Kenya there are swimming pools and these are usually the best places to indulge. On the coast the sand is exceptionally fine and it feels as if you are walking on flour. Just be careful of local strong currents and don't swim out to the coral. Watch out for the sea urchins. Their spines are very uncomfortable and may need to be extracted by medical staff. Keep your children in view at all times and warn them to take care. If you are trekking around Kenya or on Safari don't go swimming in any fresh water rivers or lakes. There is a disease called Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) which will penetrate through your skin and may cause serious problems in the future.
Rabies in Kenya:
This viral disease occurs throughout Kenya and is a significant risk for travellers who are going away from the major tourist areas. Keep clear of all warm blooded animals and if you are bitten (even licked or scratched) wash out the area immediately, apply an antiseptic and get medical attention. Even though the risk of Rabies for the traveller is very small don't ever disregard a contact of this type. The beach hotels near Mombasa are favourite haunts for monkeys. Don’t feed them and stay clear. Report any bite (lick or scratch) immediately. Watch your children at all times.
Trekking through Kenya:
Some travellers to Kenya will have no particular itinerary planned and so start their holiday from either Nairobi of Mombasa. Those planning to go off the beaten track should register with the Irish Counsel. Great care should always be exercised as each year too many tourists have significant problems while trekking off the usual routes. The major risks revolve around food and water borne disease, the risk of rabies, altitude sickness on Mount Kenya, being robbed or simply getting lost!
Tips for Trekkers
Always plan your trip well in advance
Make sure that you know about personal health and general food & water hygiene.
Check in frequently
Never travel alone
Make sure you have plenty of clean water
Stick to your itinerary
If you are in trouble, admit it!
The Risk of Malaria:
In Kenya, malaria poses a very real risk outside Nairobi. One of the highest risk areas is Mombasa which is where many travellers will find themselves at some time. Malaria is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and so the first line of defence is to protect yourself against mosquito bites. (see leaflet on Protection against Insect Bites - Tropical Medical Bureau). Also it is essential to take your prescribed malaria tablets on a regular basis. Only stop your tablets under exceptional circumstances. Nevertheless, the traveller must remember that there is no perfect protection against malaria and the disease can still occur even after all the precautions have been taken. So be aware that any peculiar symptoms (especially 'flu) for at least a year after your trip will need to be checked out.
After your Journey:
Just remember that some tropical diseases may not become evident for weeks or even months after your trip. If you are ill within a year of your journey always seek medical help.
General travel health information may be obtained from the Tropical Medical Bureau at any of our centres. Please remember, every traveller will require a specialised consultation and this leaflet only contains general guideline information.
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Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:35:15 +0100
Watamu, Kenya, March 19, 2019 (AFP) - If you live in a country with venomous snakes, or are travelling to one, here are a few tips to avoid being bitten.
- Do not provoke -
Snakes usually will not attack unless they feel threatened. In the bush, wear sturdy leather shoes and stomp heavily when walking, striking with a stick on the ground in front of you to warn any reptiles you are coming -- they will most likely just slither away.
Most strikes occur when snakes feel cornered or under threat, or when people accidentally step on them.
- Be alert and prepared -
Outside, have a good look around you for snakes that may hang from tree branches or swim in water, and be careful when turning over rocks or other objects. And remember: snakes are evolved to be well-camouflaged in their environment, whether it be the desert, forest or bush.
Thick, protective gloves are recommended for gardening and farming.
Carry a lamp at night.
Birds can help too: Many species possess an alarm cry to alert others of hidden danger.
Inside, check your bed and dark corners -- snakes can enter homes in pursuit of prey, heat or water.
The neater your home, the more likely you will spot an out-of-place snake. A mosquito net around your bed can be an effective snake repellent.
- Once bitten -
If you or someone else is bitten, try and remember the colour and shape of the snake, and seek immediately medical care at a clinic or hospital.
Remove any bracelets, rings or watches that may hamper blood flow in case of swelling.
Do NOT try and catch the snake, apply a tourniquet, cut the wound, suck out the venom, or drink alcohol or coffee.
Also do not seek to inject your own antivenom, which can induce a violent allergic reaction and needs to be administered in a professional environment with adrenaline and oxygen on hand.
Sources: Doctors Without Borders, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Action International, Bio-Ken research centre.
Nairobi, March 6, 2019 (AFP) - Hundreds of travellers were stranded for hours at Nairobi airport Wednesday, and some were treated for tear gas exposure, as striking workers and police faced off at East Africa's busiest air traffic hub. While departing planes were grounded from midnight onwards, some incoming flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) were rerouted to runways elsewhere in Kenya, even Tanzania, in a protest the government described as illegal, even "sabotage".
There were tense moments in the morning when baton-wielding police in riot helmets squared up to striking ground workers at JKIA and fired tear gas even as hundreds of anxious and frustrated travellers amassed in the terminals waiting for information about their flights. Several strikers and would-be travellers were treated on-site for exposure to the blinding, choking spray, and others for minor injuries sustained in the chaos that ensued as they tried to escape the fumes.
Stranded passenger Deborah, destined for Addis Ababa, voiced the bewilderment of many: "I am upset, why should there be tear gas at the airport with police chasing people like criminals. This is very dangerous for travellers because this is an international airport. It is a shame to say the least." A water cannon was seen arriving at the airport, but was not put to use. By late morning, officials advised would-be passengers not to come to JKIA -- East Africa's second busiest airport according to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).
Police asked those already there to go outside, where they stood and sat around for hours in parking and waiting areas, seeking out whatever shade they could find. Soldiers were brought in to help with passenger scanning, as Kenya Airways staff and security personnel also took over strikers' duties. As the strike passed the 12-hour mark, the situation at the airport calmed somewhat as the first plane -- destined for Mumbai -- took off around lunchtime. By late afternoon, Kenya Airways said most of its affected departing flights had been rescheduled and should leave before midnight.
- Job loss fears -
A KAA statement added: "flight operations at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are steadily normalising," though it advised would-be travellers to contact their airlines or travel agents for information. Marie Cynthia, making her way home to Cameroon after a meeting in Nairobi, described the situation as "total chaos".
"It has taken a whole morning and afternoon it is now they are telling us the Douala flight has been cancelled. That is a big joke because no one is telling us when it will be available." Elvis Kirwa, scheduled to fly to Seychelles, said passengers were frustrated. "As you can see... mothers and their children are crying and there are even sick people, yet there is no provision for even a bottle of water. There is no formal communication and we don't know what's happening."
Airport workers aligned to the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU), are angry about the planned partial takeover of the airport, operated by state-run KAA, by national carrier Kenya Airways. Transport Minister James Macharia told journalists that workers need not worry about the possible change of ownership. "What they were fearing is that the proposed merger between KQ (the acronym for Kenya Airways) and KAA will result in job losses but we gave assurances that that will not happen," he said.
- Sabotage -
"This strike is illegal," added the minister. "It is sabotage and amounts to a criminal activity that must be punished. That is why the union officials have been arrested for inciting workers to go on strike." Among them was KAWU chief Moss Ndiema. Kenya's Employment and Labour Relations Court, in an urgent application filed by Kenya Airways, ordered the strike suspended late Wednesday, pending a hearing on the dispute Thursday.
According to the KAA, more than 7.6 million passengers and 313,000 tons of cargo passed through JKIA in more than 111,000 aircraft movements in 2017. The airport contributes just over five percent to Kenya's gross domestic product. Operations at Kenya's two other main airports, at Mombasa in the southeast and Kisumu in the west, have also been affected, though the extent to which is not known.
Nairobi, March 4, 2019 (AFP) - Four American tourists and a Kenyan pilot were killed when their helicopter crashed on an island in a lake in northwest Kenya, police said Monday. The accident occurred in the Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana at around 8pm (1700 GMT) on Sunday, police said in a statement. All five on board the chopper were killed. "Security personnel dispatched to the scene confirmed that among the five were four Americans and the Kenyan pilot."
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, and the identities of the victims would be released once their next of kin have been informed, the statement said. Known as the Jade Sea, Lake Turkana, which is popular with tourists, is the most saline lake in East Africa and the largest desert lake in the world. It is also a candidate site for the birthplace of mankind.
Its islands are breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and several snake species while the lake itself is important to migratory birds. Last year, UNESCO placed it on its list of endangered World Heritage Sites, in part because it is threatened by Ethiopia's construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Omo River, which replenishes the lake seasonally.
Nanyuki, Kenya, March 1, 2019 (AFP) - Wildlife rangers, soldiers and huge teams of volunteers fought on Friday to stem a fierce forest fire raging on Mount Kenya national park for nearly a week. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the government force in charge of national parks, said the fire began last Saturday, and estimated that more than 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres) around the wider Mount Kenya region had been destroyed. "We have made good progress in containing the Mt Kenya fire," KWS said in a statement, but noted reports of fresh outbreaks. Helicopters flew shuttle runs to support the volunteers doing the dangerous work in the forest to stop the blaze. Others made giant water drops to stem the fire. Above the plumes of smoke, the peak of the mountain -- at 5,199 metres, or 17,057 feet high, Africa's second highest after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania -- was covered in ice and snow patches.
Firefighters included KWS rangers, as well as the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the army, the Kenya Defence Force (KDF). "Hundreds of community members, volunteers, KWS and KFS rangers and the KDF teams currently are on the mountain clearing fire breaks and beating out fires," the Mount Kenya Trust, a body set up to conserve the forests said on Friday. The park, with the peak at its centre, straddles the equator, lying some 193 kilometres (120 miles) northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1997 by the United Nations, which lists climate change as being "probably one of the most serious long-term threats to the site."
Nairobi, March 4, 2019 (AFP) - Four American tourists and a Kenyan pilot were killed when their helicopter crashed on a remote island in a lake in northwest Kenya, police said Monday. The accident occurred in the Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana on Sunday evening, police said in a statement. "There were five people on board, four of them were US citizens and the pilot, Capt Marious Magonga," the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.
Magonga owned the helicopter and also piloted for Kenya's deputy president, William Ruto. The helicopter "lost contact and crashed" shortly after taking off with a second chopper from Lake Turkana's Central Island, the statement said. Rescuers found the wreckage about seven hours later "with no survivors". "The cause of the incident is yet to be established and the details of the deceased will be released once the next of kin have been notified," a police statement said. Known as the Jade Sea, Lake Turkana, is the most saline lake in East Africa, the largest desert lake in the world, and a popular tourist spot. Its Central Island is made up of three active volcanoes, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.
The lake is an important stopover for migratory birds and its islands are breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and several snake species. Last year, UNESCO placed the massive expanse of water on its list of endangered World Heritage Sites, in part because it is threatened by Ethiopia's construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Omo River, which replenishes the lake seasonally.
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Sanaa, March 25, 2019 (AFP) - Nearly 110,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in war-hit Yemen since the beginning of January, including 190 related deaths, the UN said on Monday. The UN office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said children under the age of five make up nearly a third of 108,889 cases which were reported between January 1 and March 17.
OCHA said the spike, which comes two years after Yemen suffered its worst cholera outbreak, was concentrated in six governorates including in the Red Sea port of Hodeida and the Sanaa province home to the capital. Early rains could be blamed for the recent increase in suspected cholera cases, it said. "The situation is exacerbated by poor maintenance of sewage disposal systems in many of the affected districts, the use of contaminated water for irrigation, and population movements," OCHA added. The waterborne disease is endemic to Yemen, which witnessed the worst cholera outbreak in its modern history in 2017.
More than one million suspected cases were reported within an eight-month period that year. More than 2,500 people died of the infection between April and December 2017. Yemen's brutal conflict, which pits Iran-linked rebels against a regional pro-government alliance led by Saudi Arabia, has left some 10,000 people dead since 2015 and pushed millions to the brink of famine. The war has created the perfect environment for cholera to thrive, as civilians across the country lack access to clean water and health care.
An outbreak in Australia was probably caused by organisms carried in wild birds and spread when organisms in bird droppings became aerosolized during activities such as lawn mowing (<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15757553>). An increase in psittacosis cases in Sweden in the winter of 2013 was also linked to wild birds, apparently through exposure to wild bird droppings; most cases were associated with tending bird feeders (<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23725809>; also see ProMED-mail post Psittacosis - Sweden (02): wild bird http://promedmail.org/post/20130509.1701695).
The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs, Greg Ibach, is alerting international travellers of a deadly swine disease they could unknowingly bring back into the United States on their clothes, shoes, or hands.
Kinshasa, March 21, 2019 (AFP) - A six-month-old baby in the eastern DR Congo city of Bunia has died of Ebola, becoming the first fatality of the disease in a provincial capital, the heath ministry said Thursday. Bunia, which has a population of 300,000, is the capital of Ituri province, which along with neighbouring North Kivu province has been battling an epidemic of Ebola since last August.
The baby is among 610 fatalities out of 980 recorded cases, the ministry said in a statement. "The parents are apparently in good health," it said. "Extensive investigations are underway and will include, among other things, analysis of the maternal milk to identify the source of contamination." The ministry added that it had also registered 97 new cases in the previous three weeks. This increase "was expected" given the impact of an attack on two Ebola treatment centres by armed groups in the troubled region, it said.
Blantyre, Malawi, March 21, 2019 (AFP) - Heavy rains could cause a dam in southern Malawi to give way if there is no let-up, authorities said Thursday, urging local residents to take shelter. The warning came after cyclone Idai battered neighbouring Mozambique last Friday killing 242 people Hurricane-force winds and rains have also ravaged hit eastern Zimbabwe where over 100 have died.
In Malawi, the storm has affected nearly a million people with over 80,000 displaced, according to the WHO. The Chagwa dam "has had one of its major embankments eroded due to heavy rains," the interior security ministry said in a statement. "(It) is likely to burst in the event of heavy and incessant rains." The statement advised local residents in the southern African country to evacuate "in case of an emergency".