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Travel Vaccinations

When you travel, you can be exposed to bacteria, germs, and viruses that may not be present in the USA. Besides being current on your routine vaccinations, there are additional considerations. 

The countries you visit, the activities you intend to pursue, your current health situation and your current vaccination status will determine which vaccinations you need before you travel. The experts at Travel Health Services will advise you regarding the health risks for your destinations, provide vaccinations you need, and educate you to reduce risk from other diseases which cannot be prevented by a vaccine. Consider Travel Health Services your "Travel Health Consultants".

Some of the vaccines you may need include:

Hepatitis A is a serious viral infection of the liver spread by contaminated food and water. It is common outside the United States and vaccination is recommended for travel to Mexico, the Caribbean and any destination that has less than optimal sanitation.  Hepatitis A can be a mild disease in children, but can be severe enough in adults to cause hospitalization and even death.    Click for CDC Vaccination Information Statement

 

Hepatitis B is a serious viral infection of the liver that can lead to cancer and/or death. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood or sexual contact.  It can also be transmitted to ill or injured travelers via needle-stick or blood transfusion in countries where health care is less than optimal.  Hepatitis B is most common in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Amazon River Basin and the Pacific and Caribbean Islands.  The CDC recommends Hepatitis B vaccination for all travelers to those regions.  Vaccination is especially important to protect travelers who volunteer in health care or work with children or have high-risk behaviors.   Click to see CDC Vaccine Information Statement.

Influenza is a serious respiratory illness with high fever, severe body aches and cough that can progress to pneumonia and death.  Flu vaccination should be an annual event for everyone over the age of 6 months.  In the tropics, influenza occurs year round. In the Southern Hemisphere, flu epidemics are most common from April through September, so families planning a summer vacation to those regions should be sure they are vaccinated before departing.  Risk is also increased in crowded airports and on airplanes.  Click here for C.D.C. Vaccine Information Statement

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a serious infection caused by a virus. It occurs in certain rural parts of Asia and spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Encephalitis means swelling of the brain.  Japanese encephalitis can cause mild infections with fever and headache or more severe infections with encephalitis, and about 1 in 4 of such cases results in death.  There are approximately 50,000 cases and 10,000 deaths reported each year.  Vaccination to prevent JE is a two shot series, given 28 days apart.   Click here for C.D.C. Vaccine Information Statement.

Meningitis is a dangerous illness caused by a bacteria that can infect the bloodstream, brain and spinal cord. It is spread by close contact with an infected individual.  Devastating epidemics occur in certain parts of the world where up to 10% of the population may carry the meningitis bacteria in the nose and throat without having any symptoms. Meningitis vaccination is recommended for travelers to parts of Africa and Saudi Arabia.    Click here for C.D.C. Vaccine Information Statement.

Rabies is found on all continents, except Antarctica and is spread through the bite of an infected animal.    Street dogs in Asia, Africa and South America pose the greatest risk to travelers, followed by monkeys and bats.  Human rabies is rare in the United States.  However, there are about 55,000 rabies-related deaths each year, mainly in Asia, Africa and South America.  Vaccination is a series of 3 shots in the arm and is recommended for travelers over the age of one year visiting areas where rabies is endemic. Two additional boosters are given to a vaccinated person after a suspect bite.  Vaccination is the only effective method to prevent rabies infection. Click here for C.D.C.Vaccine Information Statement

Typhoid (typhoid fever) is a life threatening disease common in developing countries.  It is caused by the Salmonella Typhi bacteria found in contaminated food and water.  Typhoid causes a high fever, weakness, stomach pains, headache, loss of appetite, and may cause bleeding and perforation of the colon. Typhoid fever kills up to 30% of people who get it. Several hundred Americans get typhoid fever every year, most while visiting Asia, South America or Africa.  Even if you have been vaccinated in the past, you may need a booster vaccination.    Click here for C.D.C. Vaccine Information Statement.

Yellow Fever is a life threatening disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Yellow fever can cause fever and flu-like illness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), and liver, kidney, respiratory and other organ system failure and death. Yellow Fever is found in certain parts of Africa and South America.  After vaccination, an international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever ("yellow card") is provided.  This card may be required for travel to or through countries with risk of yellow fever. Travelers must also take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.  Click here for C.D.C. Vaccine Information Statement.