Foreign travel is exciting — who doesn’t love planning all the details for a trip to some exotic destination? But while you’re mapping out your itinerary, shopping for your travel essentials, and checking reviews for the hotels and restaurants you’ll be visiting, don’t forget to protect your health. The fact is, foreign travel can pose serious health risks you probably never think about in your day-to-day life in Landsdowne.
Traveling abroad in the near future? Here’s Dr. Choudhary’s advice for travel vaccines.
Make sure your routine vaccinations are up to date.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define “routine” vaccinations as vaccines recommended for everyone who lives in the United States. These include the standard childhood vaccines such as measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, chicken pox, and hepatitis A and B, as well as adult vaccines such as influenza, pneumonia, and regular booster shots. Your primary care physician should have your vaccination record and know whether you are due for any routine vaccinations before you travel.
Visit a travel health clinic at least one month before you travel to get required vaccines.
It can take several weeks to complete a vaccination series and build up immunity to disease, according to the CDC. In addition, required vaccines for certain destinations, such as yellow fever, must be completed at least 10 days prior to departure. Travel health specialists like Dr. Choudhary keep required travel vaccines in stock, which may not be the case with your primary care provider.
Talk to a travel health specialist about recommended vaccines and medications.
According to an article published on WebMD, there are many preventable travel-related diseases that are not covered by routine U.S. adult vaccinations or destination-specific required vaccines. These include typhoid, meningococcal disease, rabies, and Japanese encephalitis, to name just a few.
A travel health specialist looks at all the variables — your destination, itinerary, and personal health history, as well as your current vaccination record — and makes a holistic recommendation about the travel vaccines and other health precautions appropriate for you.
For example, a 50-year-old business traveler spending a week at a luxury hotel in Bangkok will have completely different vaccine and preventive medicine needs than a 20-year-old student planning to spend a month backpacking through Thailand.
As a recognized travel medicine specialist with over 15 years of experience, Dr. Choudhary stays on top of existing and emerging health issues around the world and knows which vaccines and precautions will keep you safe no matter where you travel.
Ask about specific precautions.
In addition to normal good hygiene and common-sense disease prevention, talk to your doctor about specific precautions against foodborne illnesses such as salmonella and hepatitis A, as well as insect-borne illnesses such as malaria and African tick bite fever. Travel vaccines are an important part of your trip preparations, but you should know the other steps to take to stay healthy when you’re traveling in a foreign country.
Is foreign travel in your future? Don’t leave your health to chance. Call the Infectious Diseases Tropical Medicine & Travel Clinic today, or schedule an appointment with Dr. Choudhary online.