Korea can be an enchanting place to visit. The scenery is magnificent, and the country is rich in heritage, culture and history. Perhaps you are going to Korea as a missionary, to visit family, or maybe on official political business. In any event, there are steps you can take in order to keep yourself safe, healthy, and happy during your stay.
The first thing you should do before traveling is check to see that you are current on all your immunizations. Most of us in New York City are inoculated against deadly diseases common to the United States as children, but you may need to check to be sure you are protected.
You will want to begin your immunizations at least one and one half months before your departure date. Most vaccination shots need time to take effect, and some of them need more than one dose. If you find that you don’t have a full month or more before you are scheduled to leave, you should still be immunized. Having some protection is better than none at all.
If you plan to visit any other countries during your travels, you should let your healthcare provider know. There may be other vaccinations and preventative courses of medications you should take that will benefit you. It only takes a few minutes at a travel clinic to prevent a deadly disease from infecting your during your trip.
One of the routine vaccines for which most Americans are current include measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Measles for example, is rarely reported in the United States, but serious outbreaks still occur in many parts of the world. Be sure you are current on the MMR vaccine and check to be sure that you don’t need a booster shot.
Other routine inoculations are the DPT shot, which protects you from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and the poliovirus. These vaccines are the first line of defense against deadly diseases. Check to see if you need a booster shot before leaving the United States. Polio still affects Asian and African nations, and should not be taken lightly.
Hepatitis A can be transmitted easily in food and water. Even accommodations that seem “safe” are no guarantee against infection. Hepatitis B is easily transmitted through human sexual contact, or from bodily fluids. The spread of Hepatitis is rampant in some foreign hospitals. Accidents do happen, and if you are injured and require treatment at a local hospital, you will want to be sure you are protected from either of the hepatitis types. Check with Dr. Gafanovich on other ways you can avoid contracting hepatitis.
Typhoid is a very real threat, and if you are going to be visiting rural areas or staying with local residents, get inoculated against typhoid. In rural areas, education about diseases and how they are spread is severely lacking. Because Typhoid can be transmitted through food and water, you will want an extra shield of protection. In some instances, travelers cannot buy bottled water or food from reputable restaurants. Learn how to avoid hepatitis and typhoid during your appointment with our travel doctor.
Japanese encephalitis is common in rural and farming areas, and is transmitted by mosquitos. You can be exposed to this deadly disease anywhere there is standing water and mosquitos live and breed. In addition to the vaccine, you should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites, such as insect repellent and wearing adequate clothing. Anyone spending time outdoors would do well to take the steps to prevent Japanese encephalitis.
Rabies is a concern if you will be spending time hiking, camping, spelunking, or mountain climbing. Rabies is transmitted by infected animals, and even “cute” ones like raccoons and rabbits can carry this disease. If you will be spending much time outdoors or anywhere that stray dogs and cats may live, you will want to get a rabies vaccine.
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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.
Your trip to Korea should be memorable, but not because of lack of planning. Be sure your shots are up to date. If you are planning your overseas adventure, be sure to contact us today to ensure your protection.