Don’t get sick abroad.
If you are traveling internationally you should be aware that conditions in other countries, both natural and man-made, may be significantly different from those in the United States and may seriously affect health and personal security during travel.
Standards of hygiene may be different. Food and water may be contaminated. The climate or environmental conditions may favor disease organisms which do not occur in the U.S.
A little forethought and planning, and recognition that travel to other countries is not without hazards, can make all the difference between an enjoyable, problem-free travel experience, or an unpleasant experience or at worst a disaster. Health, safety, accident avoidance and security are your responsibility and should be considered both before and during travel.
You should ensure that your routine immunizations – diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella are all up-to-date. If you normally receive the influenza vaccine, it should be continued for travel.
Immunizations to prevent typhoid and hepatitis A are recommended for travel to areas where sanitary conditions are poor.
In travel to remote areas or where special risks exist, immunizations against meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, European tick-borne encephalitis, hepatitis B or rabies may be recommended.
Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for entry into some countries in Central Africa and South America. Travelers to these countries must possess an international certificate of vaccination to certify that they have had yellow fever vaccination. An additional 102 countries, while not requiring proof of vaccination for travelers arriving directly from Canada, do require a yellow fever certificate if there has been a stop-over in a country where yellow fever occurs. More detailed information about yellow fever vaccination requirements.
If you are traveling to a country or area where malaria occurs, you will need to obtain a sufficient supply of antimalarial medication to begin taking the drug for a full week before departure, for the entire duration of travel in the malarial area, and for four weeks after leaving the area.
The actual medication to be taken will vary depending on the particular strain of malaria present in the country or area to be visited and whether or not resistance to drugs has developed.
Preventing malaria in travelers includes personal protective measures to reduce the risk of mosquito bites, as well as the appropriate use of antimalarial medications. Travelers to areas where there is a risk of malaria should consult a physician or travel medicine clinic in order to obtain individualized advice regarding malaria prevention during travel.
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