If you are travelling overseas it’s a good idea to think about travel vaccinations before you go.
Even if you have been to let’s say, Bali or Thailand many times before and never had vaccinations, it is still highly recommended. You may have been lucky the last time you went, but that does not mean to say you will be so lucky the next time. The last thing you want is a ruined holiday or worse, damaging your health for life.
Common travel vaccinations include Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Hepatitis A is a viral infection affecting the liver, spread when traces of faeces contaminate water or food. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and jaundice. The vaccine lasts for life if you have a booster at least 6 months after your first shot.
Typhoid is caused by bacteria called Salmonella Typhi, and is also spread through contaminated food and water. Symptoms include high fever, marked headache, malaise and decreased appetite. The vaccine lasts 3 years.
The flu vaccine is also highly recommended before travelling, and is in fact the most common infection picked up whilst travelling. It is often caught on the flight to or from your holiday.
And remember, vaccinations take about two weeks to work, so ideally think about coming in for your shots at least two weeks before heading overseas. You may need to come in earlier as some vaccines, such as Rabies, are given over a course of a month.
Dr Tammy Schnall