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The Importance of Travel Vaccinations

travel vaccinations

Planning for travel is a hectic process. Booking flights, filling prescriptions, deciding what to pack, and so much more! But have you taken the time to get your travel vaccinations? Many people overlook the importance of getting their travel vaccinations before they leave the country. While you may not expect to contract a scary disease, the possibility is definitely present. To understand why it’s so important to remember your travel vaccines, we should take a look at what can happen if you don’t get them.

Traveler’s Diarrhea

This is one of the most common travel diseases. It’s easy to contract from something as simple as an ice cube or a sip of water. This illness stems from food or water contaminated with e. Coli. It’s most common in nations that are still developing such as the Caribbean or Mexico, but it can occur anywhere. Traveler’s diarrhea leads to up to 20 trips to the bathroom per day, dehydration, sweating, and painful cramps. In severe cases, those affected have to visit the hospital to rehydrate their bodies. Getting travel vaccinations doesn’t guarantee you won’t contract the illness, but it dramatically reduces your chances.

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is similar to traveler’s diarrhea. This illness is contracted in the southern Asia region after consuming food or water contaminated with fecal matter. Over 75% of those that contract typhoid fever end up in the hospital, so getting vaccinated is a no brainer! The vaccination lowers your chances of getting sick by over 50%.

Region Specific Diseases

There are many other region-specific diseases to be aware of. Yellow fever and Zika are two of the most notable. Both of those diseases have vaccinations available to protect you if you’re visiting a region that’s affected by the illness. In some cases, you won’t be allowed to reenter the country if you haven’t received the important region-specific diseases. That means you could be at risk of getting sick and at risk of not being able to come home when you planned! Failure to get vaccinated before traveling makes you susceptible to bringing region-specific diseases back home with you and potentially infecting your friends or family members.
Speak with your Provider and visit the CDC website to find out more about what travel vaccinations you need to receive before your trip. You should get your vaccinations 4-6 weeks before traveling for the best level of protection.