Don’t let fear of illness hold you back from traveling, but be cautious. If you plan on leaving the country for any kind of trip, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Certain infections and illnesses may be more common in other countries than your own. Get vaccinated before your trip to help prevent you from becoming sick and passing your illness on to others.
At Dr. Sasan Massachi's clinic in Beverly Hills, California, we can advise you as to which travel vaccines will best protect you based on your travel destination.
Common types of travel vaccines or medications
Depending on where you go in the world, you might need to receive travel vaccines for various illnesses. While some of these diseases might not seem like an issue in the United States, you might be exposed to them elsewhere and subsequently transmit them to other people, including those in the US when you return. Here are a few examples of illnesses you might contract while traveling internationally.
Typhoid fever is caused by the Salmonella typhi bacterium. It’s an illness spread through food, water, and close contact. If you get it, you’ll probably have fever, rash, headache, fatigue, and diarrhea, among other symptoms. Without treatment, typhoid fever can lead to delirium and life-threatening complications. Antibiotics can improve your condition in a matter of days, but your trip may be ruined.
Yellow fever is a viral infection commonly transmitted through contact with South American and African mosquitos. It causes fever and flu-like symptoms before receding, but it can return and begin causing viral hemorrhagic fever, liver damage, and bloody vomit. Hospitalization is often needed for yellow fever, and there is no direct cure for the infection. That’s why prevention is vital!
Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis and can be spread through saliva and close contact with an infected person. Meningococcal disease can quickly spread to the brain and spine, and even be fatal. It’s crucial you take preventative measures like getting vaccinated before you travel to areas with recent outbreaks.
Malaria is the most common travel-related illness. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, which is carried by the Anopheles mosquito. These mosquitoes are commonly found in humid, tropical areas. Malaria causes fever, shaking, sweating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Malaria can become life-threatening, so it’s important you take preventative medicine before travelling to any tropical area. There is no vaccine for malaria, so your doctor will give you a round of pills to take before, during, and after your trip.
If you’re not sure what kind of vaccinations you will need before your trip, your doctor can inform you what is recommended for your destination.
When you get your travel vaccines, you should also update your routine vaccination record and receive any boosters you might need. These might include vaccinations for:
- Hepatitis A and B
Your health is only as good as your preventive care, and Dr. Massachi wants to protect you from unnecessary risks and keep you healthy both at home and abroad. Vaccinations are a necessary part of safe travel and interaction with other people. Make an appointment by calling our office at 310-553-3013 or by requesting a consultation online.