Traveling is an exciting experience that many people often look forward to. It’s quite common to invest days or even weeks into the preparation process. One essential thing that is often overlooked is getting vaccinated. As a matter of fact, diseases like mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and measles still exist in a great number of underdeveloped countries. They can have serious consequences ranging from disability to death. Although these diseases have been completely eradicated in other countries, it’s risky to assume that everywhere else is safe. The importance of routine vaccination can’t be underscored. It is carried out to ensure that people remain healthy and minimize the spread of disease from travelers to other people.
Factors that can influence the types of vaccine you need
The type of vaccines that you will need usually depends on the following factors:
- The types of activities you plan to engage in while travelling.
- The particular time of the year that you intend to travel.
- A complete history of your vaccination and booster shots.
- Your age and current health status. The location you are visiting must be put into consideration too. For instance, if you are visiting any African country, you will need to take prophylactic antimalaria medication as there is no vaccine for malaria.
- The period of time of your stay.
- Other factors that include pregnancy or having a health condition that can lower your immune system. Pregnant women are often advised against travelling to any region where they can contract the Zika virus.
Steps to take before travelling
The first step involves getting in touch with your health care provider or visiting a travel clinic. A good example of the latter is London Travel Clinic. It is full of health care professionals that give prescriptions, travel vaccines and health tips to travelers. Schedule an immunization appointment 4-6 weeks before you travel. This is because you will need some time to build up immunity after vaccination and there are vaccines that require more than a single dose. In situations where the traveling is urgent, you can request for an accelerated vaccination option. Here are other additional travel tips.
- Discuss any personal health issues that can predispose you to certain diseases with your health care provider.
- Carry out a thorough research of your destination to know the diseases that are peculiar to the region. This knowledge will come in handy during your visit to the health care provider or travel clinic.
- Learn about the routine vaccinations that are recommended for your destination. Ensure that you are up to date on all vaccinations.
- Avoid mosquito or other bug bites as much as possible. Consider using a mosquito net or insect repellant during your stay in endemic regions.
- This is the time to take hand washing more seriously. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
- Stay away from contaminated food and drinks.
The best thing is to prevent diseases instead of searching for a cure when they strike. More so, illnesses can ruin wonderful moments during your stay abroad.