Many people like to travel out of the country this time of year. With built-up vacation days from work and cold weather taking over much of the country, it’s a great time to seek warmer weather in the Caribbean or finally take that African safari. But if you’re planning to travel any time soon, it’s crucial you know what travel vaccinations and immunizations you’ll need beforehand.Find a CareNow® Urgent Care near you
There are three types of travel vaccinations that need to be considered before you travel: routine vaccines, recommended vaccines and required vaccines.
- Routine Vaccines
These are the normal immunizations that all children and adults are encouraged to get such as tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Since other countries can have disease breakouts that we may not experience in the United States, this is a good time to make sure you’re current on all routine vaccines.
- Recommended Vaccines
These immunizations work to prevent diseases from spreading from one country to another, especially if you’re traveling to areas where there is a high risk for contracting certain illnesses.
- Required Vaccines
These are vaccines required if you want to travel to specific parts of the world such as Africa, South America and Saudi Arabia.
Most vaccinations will be given over a several-day period. It is recommended that travelers allow 4 to 6 weeks to receive any vaccinations needed to allow them to properly work. It is highly recommended that you see a doctor or a travel health specialist who can determine exactly what vaccinations will be required and recommended based on the itinerary of your trip. Two people may be visiting the same country, but if they plan to go to different places, their vaccinations may vary.
It’s a disease most people weren’t familiar with until recently. The Zika virus, now spread to 29 different countries, is transmitted from bites of an infected mosquito or via sexual contact from someone who is infected with the virus. It’s estimated that 3 million to 4 million people throughout the Americas will become infected with the Zika virus. It’s important to know the symptoms of the virus and what you can do to prevent catching it.
- Symptoms of Zika Virus Infection
One in five people that are infected with the Zika virus will become ill, with the most common symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain or redness of the eyes. Less common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Typically symptoms will last for several days to a week.
To diagnose the Zika virus, your doctor will ask you to describe all of your symptoms, ask if you’ve been to a country where the Zika virus is common and will most likely run blood tests to search for Zika or other viruses. If the Zika virus is suspected, the doctor will consult the local health department for further testing.
Currently, there are no vaccines available to treat the Zika virus, but there are ways you can treat the symptoms. Allow yourself to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Also, to relieve fever and pain, take medicine such as acetaminophen.
The best ways to avoid the Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites and to avoid sexual contact with anyone who is infected with a known Zika virus. If you have plans to travel to a country where the virus is common or even to an area in the U.S. where mosquitoes frequent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that will cover your skin, apply insect repellent, use a mosquito net if you plan to sleep outdoors and stay indoors when possible. If you are pregnant and suspect you have the Zika virus, contact your OB/GYN for evaluation and testing.
Norovirus (a viral infection of the gastrointestinal system) most commonly associated with contaminated food. This virus can infect humans through coming into contact with contaminated food, water, surfaces and infected people.
- What are the Symptoms?
Although having Norovirus can be unpleasant, it is not usually dangerous and most who contract it make a full recovery within a couple of days. Norovirus is characterized by:
- Forceful vomiting
- Watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Treating Norovirus Infections
Unfortunately, there is not a medication specifically designed for treating Norovirus. It is not a bacterial infection; therefore, antibiotics are of no benefit.
It is critical to stay hydrated by replacing lost fluids with plenty of water. If you are dehydrated, do not consume beverages containing caffeine or alcohol.
Here are some basic ways of preventing Norovirus:
- Keep your hands clean, wash frequently
- Wash all vegetables and fruits before consuming
- Thoroughly cook all meats, especially seafood
- Avoid contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with Norovirus
If you have been diagnosed with Norovirus it is very important to avoid passing it along to others. Clean all surfaces you contact. Avoid school and work until you are well.
Ebola is a deadly disease that causes internal bleeding and violent fever. It is spread by direct contact. Although this is a rare disease, it is most commonly found in African countries.
How is Ebola Spread?
According to the Centers of Disease Control, Ebola is spread through direct contact with the following:
- Bodily fluids including: blood, breast milk, saliva, urine, sweat, feces, vomit and semen
- Contaminated objects such as needles or syringes
- Infected animals
The Centers of Disease Control also mentions that Ebola is not spread through the air or water. They state, “There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit the Ebola virus.”Symptoms
Patients who are diagnosed with Ebola experience these symptoms:
- Hemorrhage (bleeding or severe bruising)
- Muscular pain
- General weakness
- Fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
On average, these symptoms appear within 8 to 10 days after being exposed to Ebola.
CareNow® Can Help
If you are planning to travel soon, visit CareNow® to get vaccinations for: yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A & B, meningitis and tetanus including pertussis. No appointment is necessary to enjoy our services, simply walk-in or be sure to check in online to avoid the waiting room!Web Check-In®
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.