Good Neighbor Insurance (www.gninsurance.com and www.gninsurance.com) agents understand the importance of making sure all health precautions are taken care of prior going overseas. I, myself, go overseas at least two times a year to far off lands to scuba dive and I too have to make sure all my shots are up-to-date and take those extra health precautions.
Some of the world’s most spectacular destinations are also home to some of the world’s nastiest bugs and diseases. Yellow fever, malaria, and other sickness can strike the international travelers at anytime. Just because one is on vacation or on a business trip does not mean sickness ends the moment you board the airplane heading to another country. Below are tips on what vaccinations one should take as well as health precautions to those countries you are visiting. Of course the foundation of your health precautions for your overseas travels starts with an international travel plan. There are travel plans for those traveling just a few days to a few weeks, www.gninsurance.com/tripcancellation/, overseas to those who will be residing overseas for many years, www.gninsurance.com/career_plans.asp . Either way international health insurance plans are there to take care of those worse case situations just like our US health care plan does in the US.
This debilitating disease is still active in many parts of Africa and Asia. The germs can be spread through food, water, and contact with an infected person. Even if you received a polio vaccine as a child, you may need a booster to make sure you’re protected against all three types of this virus.
Yellow Fever Vaccine
Along the border of Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu alls attracts visitors from all over the world. Unfortunately, it also attracts mosquitoes that carry the yellow fever virus. Yellow fever occurs in parts of South and Central America, as well as tropical Africa. This virus can be life-threatening. Vaccination is required to visit certain countries, with a booster shot needed after 10 years.
Typhoid Fever Vaccine
Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infection common in the developing world. It is caused by bacteria found in contaminated food or drink. Several hundred Americans get typhoid fever every year – most while visiting Asia, South America, and Africa. The CDC recommends the typhoid vaccine at least 1-2 weeks before travel to these regions. If you have had the vaccine in the past, ask if you need a booster from your doctor.
Tetanus infections often result from skin injuries, including frostbite, burns, or punctures. The culprit is a bacterium that occurs in all parts of the world. Tetanus can be fatal. Booster shots are recommended every 10 years.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
One of the great pleasures of overseas travel is trying a variety of exotic cuisines. Unfortunately, contaminated food or water can spread infections, including hepatitis A. This viral infection, which causes inflammation of the liver, is common throughout the developing world. If you were no vaccinated as a child, ask your doctor about getting the vaccine series before venturing abroad.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B virus also causes liver inflammation, but is spread through blood or other body fluids infected with the virus rather than food. Many chronically infected people carry the virus in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands, and the Amazon River basin. The CDC recommends the the hepatitis B vaccine for all travelers to these areas, especially adventure travelers, missionaries, Peace Corps volunteers, and military personnel.
Rabies is found on all continents, except Antarctica, and is spread through the bite of an infected animal. Street dogs in Africa, Asia, and South America pose the greatest risk to travelers, followed by monkeys living among the temples of Asia. Without treatment rabies is fatal. A three-dose vaccine is available, through it does not eliminate the need for treatment after the bite. It buys you time to reach medical care, and cuts the doses needed.
If you get an annual flu vaccine, factor your travel plans into the timing of your vaccine. In the Southern Hemisphere, flu epidemics are most common from April through September. So families planning a summer vacation in Australia, for example, should make sure they are vaccinated before departing.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease carried by mosquitoes. It is most common in sub-Saharan Africa, but also occurs in parts of South Asia and South America. Travelers should ask their doctor about the pros and cons of preventative anti-malarial medications. Other strategies include using mosquito repellants (30%-50% DEET for adults), wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors, and sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
Doug Gulleson loves to scuba dive overseas and makes sure he has his US health care and overseas health care information with him at all times when he travels, www.gninsurance.com/gap-year. Keep our blog close by you, www.gntravelinsurance.com , for continual updates on the changes with the US health care system.