Know before you go: Learning about vaccines for healthy travel
Carson City Health and Human Services
This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Many people dream of seeing the world, touring to exotic lands, and learning about other cultures. Travel can be a rewarding, life changing and fulfilling experience if you properly plan for your trip. However, a once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity can quickly turn to a travel nightmare if illness hits you while abroad. Accessing care or medication may be difficult, depending on the remoteness of your location or the facilities available in the country you’re visiting.
One way to keep you and your family healthy while traveling is to make sure everyone receives appropriate travel immunizations before you pack your bags. If you’re planning to travel out of the country, it’s important to visit your healthcare provider 4-6 weeks before your trip to receive any required vaccines and give your body time to develop immunity. It pays to prepare by receiving required or recommended travel vaccinations before you embark on the journey of a lifetime. Getting your immune system ready to handle whatever illnesses you may encounter is as important as what you put in your suitcase.
Many important routine vaccinations are available at Carson City Health and Human Services, even though we don’t offer travel vaccinations. Always make sure you and your family members are up-to-date with routine vaccinations, even when you aren’t planning to travel. Our clinic offers Hepatitis A and B, flu, meningitis, rabies, polio, pneumonia, shingles, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, and Haemophilus Influenzae.
For trips to some locations, additional vaccines may be recommended or required. Yellow fever, typhoid, and malaria may be necessary, depending on your destination. For more information about which vaccines are recommended or required for your trip, please visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel. While Carson City Health and Human Services doesn’t offer these special travel vaccines, healthcare providers throughout the area offer them by appointment. Local health providers who offer travel vaccinations include Passport Health USA in Reno, Boheme Travel Clinic in Reno, Carson Valley Medical Center in Minden, Northern Nevada Medical Center in Reno, and Tahoe Travel Clinic.
Don’t let your trip be ruined by illness. Plan ahead and find out if any vaccines are recommended or required for travel to your destination of choice.