Health Information for Travelers
Some people might be for, others might be against. Tiny Book believes that the best way to enjoy an adventure is to pack good health for your trip! We are FOR vaccines and traditional medicine. Not that we disregard alternative cures, but we do not use it under certain circumstances. I tend to use herbal teas for a regular cold, when I get really sick herbs are not enough. What’s more, some immunization is even be required for you to travel to a few places. We protect ourselves before packing our bags… If you don’t, well you might want to skip this post. If you do, you will find important health information.
Travel smart, travel safe
All the information you will find is not MEDICAL ADVICE, just general information I gathered and wrote with the advice and help of a doctor friend, a few web sites accessible to all (links at the end) and some common sense. Please check with your general practitioner as vaccines you might need will vary according to your own trip: destination, extent, activities, age and general medical condition. So, talk to your doctor.
For all travelers. You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel or even to enter a few countries.
Routine vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and – this might be optional, check with your doctor – your yearly flu shot.
For most travelers. Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of certain diseases in the country you are visiting. For instance, in our family, we all got Hepatitis A and Typhoid immunization to go to Southern East Asia; in fact…
Hepatitis A: Is suggested because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Typhoid: You can get it through contaminated food or water. This vaccine is recommended for most travelers, especially if you are visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
For some travelers. Ask your doctor what vaccines to get or medicines to pack according to your destination, the length of your stay, the activities you plan to do once there, and your country of origin.
Hepatitis B: You get hepatitis B through blood: sexual contact, needles, etc., so this vaccine is necessary when know you’ll have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, have any medical or dental procedure.
Rabies: Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals, some groups of travelers are more at risk than others because of their activities, for instance when involved in outdoor activities or traveling in remote areas; people working with or near animals (vets, researchers, etc); children, since they tend to play with animals.
Malaria: To prevent malaria it’s necessary to avoid mosquito bites. Malaria prophylaxis includes prescription medicine before, during, and after the trip, depending on your travel plans. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. Please also consider barrier protection methods against insect bites (such as nets and strong spray repellents). A tip? A new drug is successfully replacing the heavy side effects of Malarone: Metafelkin. Discuss it with your doctor.
Japanese Encephalitis: This vaccine might prove necessary if your trip will last more than a month, depending on where (Asia, some parts of Oceania) you are going, if you plan to visit rural areas. Your doctor can help you decide on this according to your travel plans.
Yellow Fever: Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a single-stranded RNA virus, it belongs to the genus Flavivirus and its transmission occurs through the bite of an infected mosquito. It’s extended in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America, where it is endemic and intermittently epidemic. The best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, including yellow fever, is to avoid mosquito bites. They recommend the vaccine for yellow fever vaccine to (older than 9 months) traveling to or living in areas with risk for YFV transmission in South America and Africa. Bear in mind that some countries need proof of yellow fever vaccination for entry.
Some useful sites:
- US: you can get more information here and here.
- UK: all you need to know in this site.
- World Health Organization: take a look here too (this site is available in different languages).
Remember, doctors are there to take care of your health, when in doubt, ask. And if anything is not clear keep asking until you get all the answers you need to make an informed vaccine decision, for your own health and for the health of those traveling with your, specially your children. Always travel smart, always safe!