For the adventurous traveler, one thing that is often overlooked in planning the vacation is vaccination. Unfortunately, many of the diseases that the more developed countries have eliminated are still prevalent in other parts of the world. So if you’re traveling to a tropical country or certain regions in Asia, Africa and South America, it’s advisable for you to be vaccinated against these diseases. Like the old adage says, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and nothing can spoil a vacation quite as much as contracting a serious illness.
When deciding which travel vaccines are required, however, it would be best for the traveler to inquire about the countries they intend to visit. One tip: double-check the information you’ll receive. You may be advised, for example, that vaccination is not required to enter a country. But you’ll probably find out later on that you’ll need a vaccination certificate to return to your country, especially if you’ve visited a place that is endemic for a particular disease. Travelers can also assess the risk factors of their trip. For example, if you’re visiting a tropical country for only a few days, and intend to stay in an air-conditioned, first-class resort at all times, then the risks are lower compared to someone who plans to go on a jungle trek or visit rural areas.
One thing to remember, however, is that vaccines are not 100% effective all of the time. You should never assume that there is no risk of catching the disease just because you’ve been vaccinated. As with everything else, it’s always best to follow all safety rules and precautions, especially when it comes to the food you eat and water you drink. Always be aware of your surroundings as well, and take the necessary precautions. To quote my dad, don’t forget to pack a good dose of common sense!
Be sure to check out my next post, I’ll give you some of the recommended immunizations for travelers. Stay healthy!