If you’re planning to travel outside the UAE, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. Dr Sevdalina Velizarova, Internist & Vaccinations Specialist explains.
Two to four weeks before you travel, make sure you are up to date on all recommended vaccinations before traveling abroad. This gives the vaccines enough time to start working and time for any vaccines that might require more than one dose.In most of the countries, including UAE, the childhood vaccination programme protects you against a number of diseases, but doesn’t cover most of the infectious diseases found overseas.
Some types of international travel, especially to developing countries and rural areas, may have higher health risks. These risks depend on a number of things including
• Where you are traveling
• Your activities while traveling
• The state of your health
• Your vaccination history
Vaccinations are available to protect you against infections such as yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease, transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person.
Typhoid spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who’s infected. Signs and symptoms usually include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and either constipation or diarrhea.
Yellow fever is a life-threatening disease, found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
There’s a significant risk of getting malaria if you travel to an affected area. It’s very important you take precautions to prevent the disease.
There’s currently no vaccine available that offers protection against malaria, so it’s very important to take antimalarial medication to reduce your chances of getting the disease.
Many vaccine-preventable diseases that have become rare in the UAE, such as measles and polio, are still common in other parts of the world. Certain activities, such as attending crowded events, can increase the spread of infectious disease. No matter where you plan to go, you should get recommended vaccines to lower the chances for getting and spreading disease.
Some countries require you to have an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis before you enter. For example, Saudi Arabia requires proof of vaccination against certain types of meningitis or/and Flu vaccine for visitors arriving for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
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