When you travel you expose yourself to different viruses and pathogens, and you run the risk of bringing new diseases into the country. It is good practice to get vaccinated to ensure you protect yourself and the people around you. Because each country has its own list of vaccines, your general practitioner can help you with the relevant travel vaccine recommendations.
How To Manage Your Travel Health?
Your approach to vaccination is an important component of maintaining travel health. Your vaccine schedule will be highly personalised and will factor in
- Your Age
Being over a certain age may make you more susceptible to certain diseases.
- Your Vaccination History
You may need boosters for some of your routine vaccinations before you can travel.
- Where you are going
Each country has a list of diseases it may be possible to contract. This plays a major role in the travel vaccinations you will receive.
- The Time Of Year You Are Going
You may need a vaccination against a seasonal communicable disease if its peak season coincides with your travel dates.
- Whether you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
When Should You Have Your Vaccinations?
Your GP will discuss your travel plans with you and you can raise any concerns or queries you might have. Together you will decide on a vaccination schedule that will allow you maximum immunity and preserve your travel health when you are traveling.
It’s a good idea to visit your general practitioner at least six to 12 weeks before you depart Australia. It’s important not to wait until the very last minute to get them, because you may need more than one dose. You will also have a period after administration of the vaccine before it starts to become effective, and this needs to be factored in.
Speak to your general practitioner as soon as you start planning your holiday so you can find out how best to protect yourself. The sooner you get vaccinated, the quicker your immune system starts to respond.
It is recommended that you are up to date with all of your routine vaccinations before you travel. It’s important you get vaccinated against the most common diseases prior to travel.
- Chicken pox
- The flu
- Diphtheria, tetanus and Pertussis
- Measles, mumps and rubella
Travel Vaccine Recommendations | Diseases
Even though every country has their own list of diseases to vaccinate against it helps to know which are the most common diseases to be protected against. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, cholera, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, yellow fever, typhoid fever, meningococcal disease are all considered vaccine-preventable diseases.
Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food and water and is more common in countries with poor sanitation. It is recommended for all travelers over the age of one year to get vaccinated against hepatitis A.
Spread through a cut or scratch or lick from an animal that is infected, rabies can be transmitted by various animals including dogs, cats, rats, bats, foxes, chipmunks. If you do not get adequate treatment for rabies it can be fatal.
Spread through contaminated food and water, typhoid causes gastrointestinal upsets and is most prevalent in places with poor sanitation and access to clean drinking water.
Spread by a mosquito, yellow fever requires a special certificate to prove you have been vaccinated by most countries. It causes jaundice or yellowing of the skin and can cause your internal organs like kidneys and liver to stop working properly.
Common in developing countries, tuberculosis is spread through close contact with an infected person. Anyone over the age of five who is traveling to a country where TB is common should consider getting vaccinated prior to travel.
Protect Your Travel Health With These Travel Hygiene Tips
You can’t drink the tap water wherever you go, so make sure you know the status of the place you are visiting. If you can’t drink the water use bottled water or boil the tap water. The same goes for making ice in cube trays and washing fruits and vegetables – make sure the water is completely clean.
Practice Good Hygiene Habits
Remember to wash and sanitise your hands when you are out and before eating and drinking.
Make Sure You Have A Medical Plan
Have a documented plan for what to do in a medical emergency. This helps you to be prepared in the event that something does go wrong.
Do The Research Yourself
Yes, your general practitioner will advise you on what to get vaccinated against but it helps if you can get an understanding of the environment you will be going into, so you can make the changes to your habits.
Speak To Your Doctor
In the event that you start to feel unwell after your trip, you must speak to your doctor and let him or her know where you have traveled.
Take Precautionary Measures
- Use mosquito repellant after sunset to protect yourself against mosquito-borne diseases.
- Wash all food in clean water
- Practice social distancing where appropriate
To find out more about the travel vaccine recommendations for the area you will be traveling to, please contact us: (02) 9884 9300.