Before travelling to another country, check with your doctor about any necessary immunizations you may need to have updated. For instance, when you travel to Mexico, it is a good idea to be immunized for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Measles. These are shots are good for ten years, so if you don’t remember the last time you were immunized, you will want to get a booster shot.
There are a few other shots you may find that you need, so an appointment with your doctor before any trip is a good idea. Here are a few immunizations to follow up with before travelling:
Hepatitis A: If you have had this vaccination in the past, be aware that you need a booster every six months. You can contract Hepatitis A through food or water. Hepatitis A attacks your liver, and the symptoms are severe diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is spread by exposure to blood and sexual contact, and the symptoms are similar to Hepatitis A , only worse. This immunization is not as common.
Typhoid: Typhoid is spread through water, so if you are travelling to a location that may have unclean water supplies, you will definitely want to let your doctor know. Typhoid immunizations can be taken orally as well as through a shot.
Malaria: Malaria can be spread through a mosquito’s bite. Shortly after you are bitten, the parasites travel through the bloodstream to the liver, where they mature and release merozoites and infect red blood cells. The parasites multiply inside the red blood cells, which then break open within 48 to 72 hours, infecting more red blood cells. The first symptoms usually occur 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, though they can appear as early as 8 days or as long as a year after infection. The symptoms occur in cycles of 48 to 72 hours.
Rabies: Almost any country you visit is going to have Rabies, including the United States, so it’s a good idea to stay current on this one.
Always let your doctor know when you are travelling to a foreign country to be proactive about protecting your health. Your doctor will know what immunizations will be necessary for the area you are visiting. Should you need medical assistance abroad, travelers health insurance will cover any emergency care you may need as well as any hotel cancellations or airline ticket penalties due to illness or accident.