Don’t Let Dangerous Diseases Ruin Your Trip Abroad

Planning a trip out of the country?

Be sure to check in advance for any needed vaccinations or medications because far-off and exotic travel destinations may harbor dangerous diseases.

Malaria, measles, chicken pox, yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, rabies, dengue fever, flu and typhoid are just some of the serious illnesses found throughout the world. Getting vaccinations and travel medications can ensure you stay well on your vacation and return home healthy.

Before researching all of the exotic diseases you could get while traveling, be sure you are up-to-date on your basic vaccines before every trip. That includes the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine and your yearly flu shot. Measles, while uncommon in the U.S., is still frequently found in many countries and most domestic cases of measles have been brought into the country by U.S. citizens who have been traveling abroad.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if you are planning to travel out of the country, check in advance for vaccinations that are required or recommended for your destination. Don’t wait until the last minute because some vaccines must be given 10 days in advance of travel and others might be given in a series. Bring your proof of vaccination with you during your vacation as some countries may require it.

In the past, getting your needed travel vaccinations and medications required a visit to your primary care provider. In California, a newly enacted law allows specially trained pharmacists to furnish vaccinations and travel-related medications without a prescription. Travel-related medications have been identified by the CDC and could treat conditions such as diarrhea and infections.

In order to provide travel vaccinations and medications, pharmacists must have a current basic life support certification and complete an immunization training program, a 10-hour travel medicine training program and the CDC Yellow Fever Vaccine Course.

Virginia Herold, executive officer of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Board of Pharmacy, says the new law will benefit public health by giving individuals greater access to specially trained health care providers who are knowledgeable about  travel medications and can share more information about travel health issues.

Planning for your health in advance can ensure that souvenirs and photos are the only things you’ll bring home from a trip abroad.

See which vaccinations are needed for your destination by going HERE to the CDC website or talk to your pharmacist.

To view the new pharmacy regulation, view the Board of Pharmacy’s website HERE.

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