Whether you’re a frequent international traveler or leaving your country for the first time, getting sick during travel is something that nobody wants to experience. But travelers can take some simple steps to avoid any potential health issues by spending a few minutes researching their intended destination, and by addressing any potential health care notices.
Because vaccination practices vary around the world, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains regular travel health updates related to potential diseases and required vaccinations from around the world.
Although most travelers never encounter diseases, it is important to recognize that many potential diseases are present in different regions of the world. And the list can be long: the CDC lists 58 diseases related to travel.
Fortunately, disease prevention can be helped by being aware of specific diseases which may affect travelers. And the CDC has created an interactive destinations map that provides travelers with health information about each country:
- Travel health notices.
- Safety and security abroad.
- Preparing for your trip.
- Other nearby diseases.
- Tips to stay healthy during your trip and more.
Although travel to many parts of the world may not require any additional vaccinations, it is best to setup an appointment with a medical provider between four to six weeks prior to your trip so that vaccines may have enough time to take effect in your body, according to the CDC. You should also consult your doctor for his/her advice about vaccination and prevention if your travel plans are less than four weeks away.
The CDC outlines travel vaccinations into three categories:
- Routine (adult, children, infants)
- Recommended (prevention of potential illnesses elsewhere)
While the U.S. guidelines are helpful, individuals should also consult international traveler health recommendations within their own country for required immunizations. Travelers should also consult with their physicians about what is best for their individual situations.
More information may be obtained online at the CDC Travelers Health website.