Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How Early is Too Early for Travel Vaccinations?

Clare is the owner at The Travel Clinic in Glasgow and they are who I use whenever I need any travel vaccinations, and on a more personal note ( I highly recommend them too). 

I asked Clare how how far in advance of a trip travellers should get travel advice regarding vaccinations, and her reply was 6 - 8 weeks before you go. 

You should be getting advice at least 8 weeks beforehand, and then in the run up to your holiday, they can schedule in the different vaccinations so that they are not necessarily all given at the one time.

The jabs will be dependant on 

1. the country that you are travelling to
2. whether you have any existing medical conditions
3. whether you are taking any medication
4. whether you are or think you might be pregnant
5. and also if you have had, or how long ago you had previous vaccinations

When I was travelling to Kenya to visit the Sandstorm Kenya luggage office and factory (and I am was mainly staying just outside Nairobi), I needed Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Polio, Yellow Fever and my tetanus jag updated.

When I returned, I also got my booster jabs, which means I am covered for 10 years for most of the above.
There are also some common sense tips for staying healthy during your trip which I always try to follow:

Prevent Insect Bites

 Many diseases, like malaria, are spread through insect bites. One of the best protections is to prevent insect bites by:
 • Using insect repellent 

• Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat outdoors.
• Remaining indoors in a screened or air-conditioned area during the peak biting period for malaria (dusk and dawn).
• Sleeping in beds covered by nets, if not sleeping in an air-conditioned room.
• Spraying rooms with products effective against flying insects

Prevent Animal Bites and Scratches

Direct contact with animals can spread diseases like rabies. It is important to try and prevent animal bites and scratches.

•Be sure tetanus vaccination is up to date.
•Do not touch or feed any animals, including dogs and cats. Even animals that look like healthy pets can have rabies or other diseases.
•Help children stay safe by supervising them carefully around all animals.
•If you are bitten or scratched, wash the wound well with soap and water and go to a doctor right away.
•After your trip, be sure to tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched during travel.

Be Careful about Food and Water

Diseases from food and water are one of the leading cause of illness in travellers. Follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:
 •Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel

•Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles.  
Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.  If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.
•Make sure food is fully cooked..

Avoid Injuries

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of injury among travellers. Protect yourself from these injuries by:

•Do not drinking and drive.
•Wearing your seat belt and using car seats or booster seats in the backseat for children.
•Follow local traffic laws.
•Wearing helmets when you ride bikes, motorcycles, and motor bikes.
•Not getting on an overloaded bus or mini-bus.
•Hiring a local driver, when possible.
•Avoiding night driving.



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