Preparing for a Trip? Contact TravelSafe Immunization Clinic

Are you preparing for your next trip?  At TravelSafe Immunization Clinic we provide pre-travel consultations to ensure you are immunized for your travel. 

Here are some of the most common diseases faced by travelers:

 

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A.  It is usually spread by close personal contact and sometimes by eating food or drinking water containing HAV. A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

Hepatitis A can cause:

  • "flu-like" illness
  • jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine)
  • severe stomach pains and diarrhea (children)

People with hepatitis A often have to be hospitalized (up to about 1 person in 5).   Adults with hepatitis A are often too ill to work for up to a month.  Sometimes, people die as a result of hepatitis A (about 3-6 deaths per 1,000 cases).  Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A.

What is Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid (typhoid fever) is a serious disease caused by a bacteria called Salmonella Typhi.  Typhoid causes a high fever, fatigue, weakness, stomach pains, headache, loss of appetite, and sometimes a rash. If it is not treated, it can kill up to 30% of people who get it. Some people who get typhoid become "carriers," who can spread the disease to others.

Generally, people get typhoid from contaminated food or water.  Typhoid occurs in developing countries but is rare in the Western world.  Typhoid strikes about 21 million people a year around the world and kills about 200,000.

Typhoid vaccine can prevent typhoid.  There are two types of typhoid vaccine.  One is an inactivated (killed) vaccine given as a shot. The other is a live, attenuated (weakened) vaccine which is taken orally (by mouth).  Both vaccines are 50 – 80 % effective in preventing the disease.


 


What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is found in certain parts of Africa and South America.  Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It cannot be spread person to person by direct contact.  People with yellow fever disease usually have to be hospitalized. Yellow fever can cause:

  • fever and flu-like symptoms
  • jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • bleeding from multiple body sites
  • liver, kidney, respiratory and other organ failure
  • death (20% - 50% of serious cases)

 

How can I prevent Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever vaccine can prevent yellow fever.  Yellow fever vaccine is given only at designated vaccination centers.

After getting the vaccine, you should be given a stamped and signed "International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis" (yellow card). This certificate becomes valid 10 days after vaccination and is good for 10 years.   You will need this card as proof of vaccination to enter certain countries. Travelers without proof of vaccination could be given the vaccine upon entry or detained for up to 6 days to make sure they are not infected.

Discuss your itinerary with your doctor or nurse before you get your yellow fever vaccination. Consult your health department or visit CDC’s travel information website to learn yellow fever vaccine requirements and recommendations for different countries.

 

Other preventive measures

Another way to prevent yellow fever is to avoid mosquito bites by:

  • staying in well-screened or air-conditioned areas,
  • wearing clothes that cover most of your body,
  • using an effective insect repellent, such as those containing DEET.

 

What is Japanese Encephalitis and how is it transmitted?

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a potentially serious viral infection spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Where is the risk?

The risk of JE occurs mainly in rural agricultural areas in Asia and parts of the western Pacific. The risk is very low for most travellers but varies depending on destination, types of activities, duration, and season of travel.

What are the symptoms?
Most people infected with JE do not have symptoms. Symptoms can develop between 5-15 days after being infected and can be as mild as fever, headache and vomiting. More serious symptoms of encephalitis (swelling of the brain) can follow, including mental and neurological changes, movement disorders and seizures, which can result in death or permanent disability. There is no specific treatment for JE.

How can I prevent JE?
The JE vaccine is available as a 2 dose series given 28 days apart followed by a booster dose in a year to ensure long term protection. It is recommend for travellers who:

1. Plan to spend at least a month in areas where JE occurs
2. Plan to travel for less than a month but will be spending a lot of time outdoors in rural areas
3. Plan to travel to areas where there is a JE outbreak
4. Are not sure of their travel plans.

Reactions to the vaccine are uncommon and most often include soreness and tenderness at the injection site. Headache, fever, fatigue and muscle aches may also occur.  It is also important follow strict mosquito precautions to prevent JE, especially during the hours between dusk and dawn.

Talk to your travel health specialist to determine if you should have the JE vaccine for your trip.


 

More information on Diseases

 

Before you travel, protect your health.

TravelSafely with TravelSafe Immunization Clinic