Visiting India? Here’s How to Stay Healthy
World famous monuments, pristine beaches, wildlife — India offers a memorable experience.
Regardless of the reason for visiting India, make sure you make plans to stay healthy on your trip. Everyone visiting India needs to get vaccinated for:
Besides these, a tourist will want to take malaria tablets and consider other vaccinations also.
The risk of malaria in India is moderate and most places in the nation are affected including major metropolitan places like Bombay and Delhi. The only places where there is zero risk of malaria are over 6,500 feet such as Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir. The malaria risk also fluctuates with the seasons and trends higher during the wet seasons.
Hepatitis A is endemic, and most Indians get it in childhood which means immunity later in life. Foreign travelers are at greater risk of contracting Malaria, and it is this danger that encourages vaccination.
Check with your healthcare provider before traveling. If your last booster was more than ten years or, or you never finished the course of treatment, it’s best to do so before leaving home.
Typhoid outbreaks are regular occurrences in India. Most persons contract typhoid by eating contaminated food or drinking water. Most health care providers agree that the typhoid vaccine is a must for anyone traveling to India.
Before traveling overseas, be sure to double check you have all the standard vaccines recommended for people living in America. Your need for any of these following vaccines will depend on where you are going and what you plan to do when you get there.
As a kid, you probably received a vaccine for diphtheria. If you’re not sure, or you think you missed it, get immunized before traveling. Check with your healthcare provider to see if a booster shot is needed.
This vaccine is vital for travelers who will be in close contact with the local populace such as volunteering in a medical role or other service provider. 80 million people in India are affected by Hepatitis B which is transmitted during sex or by using contaminated needles.
Over 85% of all Japanese encephalitis have been reported in India and China. The sickness is spread by mosquitoes and contracting it is higher during the wet seasons where there are more mosquitoes. If you stay in urban areas only, the risk is low.
Diarrhea as a Bonus
While there’s no vaccine against diarrhea, “Delhi Belly” is common enough among travelers to India to include it, so that you have a safe trip. About 70% of international travels come down with diarrhea during their visit. Causes range from bacterial infection to just a difference in food. No matter how it occurs, diarrhea can quickly ruin a trip.
Since there’s no vaccine for Delhi Belly, how can you avoid getting sick? Follow these suggestions:
Avoid Risky Eating
Be wise about where and what you eat. Street vendors may not be the ideal spot to grab a snack. But eating only pre-packaged foods is not required either. The smart choice is to use good judgment about where and what to eat.
Indian water is contaminated with bacteria and other bugs which can cause diarrhea. If you want water, use bottled water. If you want a coke or alcohol, don’t put ice cubes in it. The ice is probably made from impure water.
Products like Travelan provide some protection against diarrhea and is often included in travelers’ diarrhea kits which include antibiotics and other products that help put a cork in diarrhea. Before travelling, make sure you visit a travel clinic to make the shots.