If you plan to travel to beautiful and exotic Kenya, be sure to protect yourself against some serious health risks. You need to be vaccinated against many lethal diseases that you could acquire in Kenya, and to take preventative medications against other illnesses that are common there, before you go. Don’t let the chance of these diseases spoil your vacation, and your health. You should ideally plan to get your vaccinations a few months before you travel, although some might require even longer to offer the best protection.
Dr. Marina Gafanovich monitors CDC guidelines and is up-to-date about which vaccines are required for you to be healthy while you travel. Before you travel to Kenya, you have to be sure to be up-to-date on routine vaccines, and this includes your yearly flu shot, or the FluMist. The other vaccines you must have include the polio vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, chickenpox vaccine, and the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine.
No matter where you travel in Kenya, the CDC recommends that you be vaccinated against hepatitis A. The virus that causes this infection is transmitted via contaminated food or water. This vaccine might beadministeredin 2 doses, 6 months apart, so plan this before you travel. The CDC also recommends that you have a hepatitis B vaccine.
Another disease that’s transmitted via contaminated food or water is typhoid fever. This infection is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi, and can be lethal. Be sure you’re vaccinated against this disease, and be aware that if you were already immunized, you will need a booster vaccine every two to five years after that, depending on the type of vaccine you originally had.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous diseases that you can acquire in Kenya is meningitis, as this country is part of the “meningitis belt” of sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is most common during the dry season (December–June), and so the CDC recommends this vaccine if you plan to visit during that period.
There’s a risk of yellow fever, a potentially lethal disease, in some parts of Kenya, so the CDC recommends that you have a yellow fever vaccine. This disease is spread by infected mosquitos. Be aware that that the government of Kenya requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. If you will travel to some other African (or South American) countries such as Togo, or Uganda before you travel to Kenya, you have another reason to be vaccinated.
The CDC also recommends that you be vaccinated againstrabies, as the disease is found indogs, bats, and other mammals in Kenya. The vaccine is recommended for those who will practice outdoor activities such as caving (full of bats), camping, hiking, and adventure travel. These activities can put you put at risk by animal bites. If you will be working with or around animals, you need to be vaccinated, as are those taking long trips or moving to Kenya. Children must be vaccinated because they like to play with animals, and they might not report bites.
The CDC states that malaria is present in many parts of Kenya, including game parks, so you should be sure to take preventative medication before, during, and after your travel. Malaria is caused by being bitten by an infected mosquito. The CDC warns that some countries sell fake or substandard malaria drugs, and that “antimalarial drugs should always be purchased before traveling overseas!”
No antimalarial drug is 100% protective and you still have to follow protective measures. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants, and use insecticide-treated bednets.
Even if you will obtain the above vaccines, you must still practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands, or using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Avoid undercooked dishes, and raw fruits and veggies that you haven’t peeled yourself. Avoid ice, and use bottled water. You also have to avoid bushmeats, such as monkeys or bats.
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Traveling outside of USA and concerned about your health? Travel vaccinations are recommended for many destinations. Find out about the requirements and talk to a physician.
You should visit Dr. Gafanovich before you travel to Kenya, and you will obtain excellent information and administration of preventative vaccines and medications, tailored to your health, and specific travel needs.
You still have to practice excellent hygiene, such as washing your hands,