Travel Safe News

by Kristin Gagnon, RN Kristin Gagnon, RN No Comments

Think you need the typhoid vaccine? Think again.




Many travellers believe that they need the typhoid vaccine for most travel destinations. Are you one of these travellers? Depending on your destination and itinerary you might not need it all all! Read on to find out more information about typhoid fever and who should have the vaccine.


What is typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is a potentially serious and life threatening disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. This is not the same type of salmonella that you get from undercooked chicken. Typhoid fever is most often spread through food and water contaminated by the feces of infected people who prepare food without properly washing their hands. Symptoms can occur between 6-30 days after being infected. Symptoms include gradually increasing fatigue and fever, often accompanied by headache, malaise, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and a rash of rose-coloured spots on the torso. If treated with antibiotics more than 99% of people will recover. If left untreated it can lead to serious bleeding in the intestines which can be life threatening.

Who needs the typhoid vaccine?

The risk of typhoid is highest in developing countries with poor sanitation, especially in southern Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh). Most travellers to these destinations should have the typhoid vaccine. Other areas of risk include East and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The risk for travellers increases with duration of stay, for those visiting friends and relatives, for those visiting smaller villages and rural areas, and for those with adventurous eating habits. If any of those factors apply to your trip then you may need typhoid vaccine as well! Going to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean? You do not need the typhoid vaccine!

What are the typhoid vaccine options?

Two types of vaccines are available to help prevent typhoid fever:

1. Oral vaccine (by mouth) – given as a series of 4 doses in capsule form and offers protection for 5 years.

2. Injection – a single dose that offers protection for 2 years.

Reactions to both vaccines are usually mild and temporary. Possible reactions to the oral vaccine may include abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting and rash. Reactions to the injection most often include redness, soreness, and tenderness at the injection site as well as fever and headache.

Still think you need the typhoid vaccine? Book a pre-travel consultation!

Travellers interested in being vaccinated for typhoid need to book a pre-travel consultation. During the consultation the doctor or nurse will help you determine if the typhoid vaccine is needed for your trip. The oral vaccine is not suitable for everyone, so the doctor or nurse will determine if it is right for you. There is currently a shortage from the manufacturer of the injectable typhoid vaccine. This vaccine is being reserved for those who cannot take the oral vaccine so a consultation is a must!

Don’t forget: in addition to receiving the typhoid vaccine it is also important to follow strict food and water precautions and wash your hands frequently to prevent typhoid fever.

by TravelSafe Clinic TravelSafe Clinic No Comments

Vacation Horror – Visit Some of the Scariest Places on Earth!

There is a unique cabal of tourists out there who forgo the normal vacation objectives and would rather have the wits scared out of them.

Visit Some of the Scariest Places on Earth!

When most of us think about vacations, we think beaches, fun, excitement and, perhaps most obviously, rest and relaxation. However, there is a unique cabal of tourists out there who forgo the normal vacation objectives and would rather have the wits scared out of them. While it may not be for everyone, like skydiving, cliff-jumping or eating questionable roadside meat-on-a-stick, it’s an alternate form of thrill-seeking, and for those who like combining adrenaline with their vacation, this could be your bag!

For those of you with a penchant for the macabre and the morose, and who can watch The Exorcist without flinching, we’ve provided you with a few of the world’s scariest places to visit!

Warning: If you’re easily creeped out and don’t like horror films, may we suggest you read our blog on Snowbirds instead.

The Monte Cristo Homestead, Australia

The Monte Cristo Homestead in New South Wales is considered one of the most haunted locations in Australia. It is believed to be haunted as a result of many tragic occurrences on the premises. Built in 1885, and home to the Crawley family, the property was the location of many deaths, including the tragic death of a child who was dropped down a flight of stairs. A maid that worked there is also rumoured to have fallen from a balcony and a stable boy burned to death on the property as well. In 1948, one of the new caretakers was found murdered in the same cottage!

Dalhousie Castle, Scotland

The Dalhousie Castle was built in the 13th century, and has an infamous past! According to legend, there are dozens of ghosts that roam the property. If you have the courage to wander the halls at night, you may just run into the ghosts of William Douglas, or the Grey Lady–the ghost of Lady Catherine who haunts the castle’s dungeon.

Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco

This famous hotel was once a finishing school for girls. The headmistress, Miss Mary Lake, died suddenly just a few years after the school opened. Today, she politely haunts the hotel, where she tends to stay in room 401. She’s known to cover up sleeping guests with blankets and sometimes she unpacks their suitcases. I’m not sure if you need to tip her or not.

The Catacombs, Paris

While not known to be haunted, The Catacombs is definitely one of the world’s most creepy places to visit. It’s essentially an underground boneyard with themed sections for different parts of the body. A great alternative to visiting the Louvre?

Island of the Dolls, Mexico

The legend of Isla De Las Muñecas centres around a  little girl who died off the coast of this island near Mexico City more than 50 years ago. After her death, several dolls began washing ashore. The island’s only permanent resident at the time was a recluse and began hanging the dolls from trees. Then he started collecting all the dolls he could find and hung them from trees. Now there are hundreds, and people claim that when you walk around, you can feel the eyes of the dolls looking at you. This is not exactly the Barbie Dream House!

Your Haunted Bucket-List

If scary is your thing, you may want to put some of these disturbing locales on your “horror-travel bucket list!” For those of you who have to cover your eyes when the gory scenes occur on The Walking Dead, we recommend skipping these places and booking a trip to Hawaii!

Before you travel, protect your health.

TravelSafely with TravelSafe Immunization Clinic