The travel bans and assorted warnings prompted by the zika virus outbreak has gotten us to thinking about other disease risks we take every time we redeem those two tickets to paradise. Even if you aren't planning an African safari, there is plenty you should should consider when packing for one of those “exotic” retreats. Here are some of the inoculations with which you should be current if you plan on vacationing further east than Montauk Point.
Yellow fever occurs in parts of South America, especially along the border of Argentina and Brazil, as well as tropical Africa. In certain countries you will not be allowed in without a vaccination and a booster every ten years since.
Hepatitis A is still commonly spread through the water and food throughout the developing world. You may have been vaccinated as a child, but check with your doctor to see if your itinerary merits a booster series.
People throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands, and the Amazon River basin still carry the hepatitis B virus, which is spread through bodily fluids. The Center for Disease Control is calling for everyone who is traveling in these areas to be vaccinated.
You have read much lately about dengue fever, in conjunction with the zika virus. Dengue remains the most common cause of fever in travelers returning from South Central Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America. No vaccine is available, but since it is spread by mosquitoes, plan your itinerary and apparel accordingly.
Another mosquito-borne disease is lymphatic filariasis, generated by a tiny, parasitic worm that hitches along with the winged insect. It is prevalent in Africa, Asia, the Western Pacific, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Brazil. Again, wear long sleeves, and utilize mosquito netting and repellent.
Probably the most famous before zika of the mosquito-borne infections is malaria. It occurs most commonly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also shows up in parts of South Asia and South America. You should implement your standard safeguards against the bugs.
Tuberculosis, still found throughout the world, is common in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, one-third of the the global population is believed to be infected with TB, resulting in 1.5 million deaths in 2014. It is airborne, spread by coughing, spitting and sneezing. , although it is found all over the world. Before traveling, check with your doctor to see if you are a candidate for the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine.
Polio may be pretty much licked here in the US, but it is active still throughout Asia and Africa. It is spread via water, food, and personal contact. See your doctor about getting a polio booster prior to your safari.
Typhoid fever, too, is still a serious infection in the Third World. Around 5,700 Americans contract typhoid fever every year, usually after visiting Africa, South America or Asia – don't be one of those people. Get your typhoid vaccine vaccine – or booster – at least one to two weeks before your travel begins.
Before traveling just about anywhere “adventurous,” make sure you are up to date on your tetanus shots. Booster shots are recommended every ten years.