Many doctors recommend that you take a
first aid kit with items such as pain relievers, sunscreen, insect repellent,
moleskin, antifungal and antibacterial ointments, and antidiarrheal medicines,
especially if you will be traveling to areas where modern medical care is not
Potential health risks
Preparing for health risks is especially important if
you are visiting developing countries, such as those in most parts of Africa
and Asia and many parts of South and Central America, where expert medical care
may not be readily available.
Before you go, you should be aware of any needed
immunizations or medicines, disease outbreaks, food
and water precautions, and any other preventive measures to take. Check with
your local or state health clinic at least 6 weeks before traveling so that
you'll have time for immunizations and other health precautions that may need
to be done in advance. Some vaccines need to be given in more than
one dose, and you may need more than 6 weeks to get protection. Most clinics can
give immunizations and prescriptions for antimalarial drugs. If not, ask to be
referred to a clinic that specializes in travel health.
all of your routine vaccines are up-to-date for you and your children.
These vaccines can protect you from diseases such as
whooping cough, and
rubella that have been almost eliminated in
developed countries but are still common in some developing countries. If you
will be traveling to a country where these infections are still common, check
your immunity status. Some adults have not received all of these vaccines
(especially measles, mumps, and rubella) and may be
susceptible unless they have had the disease. Your
tetanus immunization should be updated before
traveling if you haven't received one in the last 10 years.
information, see the topic
Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for most travelers
to developing countries where the disease is common. It is the most widely
reported disease in return travelers that can be prevented by a
vaccine.1 You can help
protect yourself from hepatitis A while traveling by
boiling your drinking water, making sure food
is well-cooked, and eating only those raw fruits that you have washed and peeled. The
hepatitis A vaccine(What is a PDF document?) is given as two shots. The first hepatitis A shot
usually works in about 4 weeks and protects most people from getting
hepatitis A. The second shot is given at least 6 months after the
first shot and provides lasting protection. If you only got the first hepatitis A shot before you left the
country, make sure you get the second one within
3 years of the first shot.
yellow fever(What is a PDF document?) vaccine is currently required for travelers who plan to visit
countries in South America and Africa where the disease is active.