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Traveling? Make Sure You’re Vaccinated

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As the summer months approach, many have started planning their summer vacations. However, before you consider making travel plans for the summer, you should also consider looking into any pertinent travel vaccines or medications that may be necessary for international travel. There are risk factors which are dependent on where you are traveling, activities you will participate in while traveling, your current health status, and your vaccine history. It’s important to get vaccines prior to travel because in the rare instance you would catch something, you don’t want to bring it back to the U.S. and cause a possible outbreak. Certain diseases such as yellow fever, typhoid fever and malaria are still found in underdeveloped countries. For example, Zika virus started in Brazil and gradually has spread to the United States due to travel to this area.

Getting Vaccines for Travel

To prevent occurrences like this, consider the following steps prior to international travel.

1.   Check vaccines that are recommended when traveling to a particular country at:
http://www.cdc.gov/features/vaccines-travel/

2.  Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss vaccinations 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel. Also, make sure you are up to date on routine vaccines.

3. Discuss any prophylactic medications that you may want to take with you. For example, your doctor may prescribe ciprofloxacin in the case of traveler’s diarrhea.

4. If your doctor prescribes medications, determine when they should be started and for how long after travel you will need to continue to take them.

5. Check for any travel notices in the area in which you are traveling at:
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

Once you arrive at your destination, remember to take additional precautions such as avoiding room temperature food, not drinking water that is not bottled, and wearing insect repellent while outdoors. Also, be sure to bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands often. Taking all of the above precautions will ensure that you have a safe and healthy trip.

 

References:

1.      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – http://www.cdc.gov


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