While traveling abroad is exciting, it can also expose you to a number of different illnesses. It’s critical to have the proper vaccines before visiting certain countries to ensure your health—and that of your loved ones—isn’t compromised. Although the appropriate immunizations will depend on where you’re traveling, HealthSmart Vaccines has shared a starter guide to the most recommended vaccines for travel outside the U.S.
Traveling Abroad? Here Are 5 Recommended Vaccines
1. Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is an inflammatory disease of the liver caused by a virus. The most common way to catch it is by drinking water or consuming food that's been contaminated by the stool of someone with the virus. Other ways to become infected include eating foods that were contaminated during the handling process, consuming shellfish harvested in virus-infested waters, and swallowing contaminated ice. As this disease is a potential risk almost anywhere in the world, the vaccine is recommended for almost all international travelers. Some examples of high-risk regions include Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and Fiji.
2. Hepatitis B
Another liver-related disease is Hepatitis B, a potentially fatal infection that causes scarring of the liver, liver failure, and cancer. This infection is spread when people come in contact with the blood, open sores, or bodily fluids of someone with the virus. Some examples of high-risk regions include Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Fiji.
Typhoid fever is an infectious bacterial fever that results in red spots on the chest and abdomen, causing severe intestinal irritation. This condition is contracted in many areas of the world through contaminated drinking water or by consuming food that’s been handled by an infected person. This bacterial fever is most common in the developing world, especially in South Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. This disease can occur when the fluid surrounding these membranes becomes infected by viral or bacterial infections. Other causes include cancer, chemical irritation, fungi, or drug allergies. The highest incidence of this disease is found in sub-Saharan Africa.
5. Yellow Fever
Yellow fever is a tropical viral disease that affects the liver and kidneys. Transmitted by mosquitoes, this often fatal disease causes high fever and jaundice. Most people begin to develop immunity to this disease within ten days and 99% are protected within a month of vaccination. High-risk areas include parts of South America and Africa.
If you’re traveling to any of the aforementioned areas and are in need of vaccines, put your trust in HealthSmart Vaccines in Chantilly, VA. Offering a full range of vaccinations and services from yellow fever and tuberculosis testing to the flu vaccine and travel insurance, they’ll ensure that you and your family are protected and well-informed about disease prevention. To schedule an appointment, call (703) 961-0733 or visit their website.