All The Fuss About International Immunizations?
by Karen Kluge, R.N., B.S.N. - Executive Director, Passport
are exciting and travelers often bring home photographs, memories and
mementos. Hepatitis, malaria and typhoid are just a few of the
un pleasantries you don't want to bring home as a reminder of your trip.
planning can be hectic and people often take their good health for
granted. Underdeveloped countries, often lush and tropical have many
diseases hidden from the naked eye. Many countries require proof of
vaccination as an entry requirement. However, entry requirements are meant
to protect the citizens of that country and not the visitors. The CDC
(Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) make
recommendations for Americans traveling abroad. Many diseases, which no
longer are considered a threat in our country, still exist and pose a
vital health risk in many countries. As more and more people travel to
exotic destinations, their risk is increased.
health and security risks can be decreased with appropriate counseling and
vaccine protection. Travelers' Diarrhea is an illness that many travelers
are aware of and yet few take along appropriate treatment. Education can
diminish the risk and taking along a remedy can drastically shorten the
duration and reduce the severity of the illness should it occur. Hepatitis
A is present worldwide; there are occasional outbreaks in the United
States associated with improper food handling and preparation. Importing
produce from developing countries has also played a major role in
outbreaks of Hepatitis A. There is a safe and highly effective vaccine.
Additional safe and effective vaccines are available for common diseases
like Typhoid and Tetanus/Diphtheria to mention just a few.
mosquito borne diseases are re-emerging due to limited resources needed to
eradicate mosquito breeding grounds. Although vaccines are available for
certain diseases such as Yellow Fever and Japanese Encephalitis, many like
Malaria and Dengue Fever rely heavily on appropriate use of preventive
measures. Health education is a very important component, as both Dengue
Fever and Malaria can be fatal.
only way to thoroughly enjoy your vacation is to be prepared. Vacations
are often planned for months and the expense can be significant. No one
wants a vacation ruined by illness. International travelers need to seek
appropriate care from a travel medical specialist at least 6 weeks prior
to travel. A few shots without appropriate counseling or supplies will not
keep you free of disease. A thorough travel medical consultation should
take approximately an hour.
Passport Health specializes in immunizations,
travel medical information and hard to find travel supplies at very
Click Here to find the Passport Health location nearest you.