A vacation to Jamaica can be a fun, rewarding way to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life at home. If you are planning a trip to Jamaica, you want to have a trouble-free stay. You can take certain precautions to ensure your vacation isn’t cut short or ruined by illness. Be sure you are protected from preventable disease by getting your immunizations, booster shots, and preventative courses of medications.
The first step is to research your immunization history and make sure you are current on your shots. In the U.S., we are commonly inoculated from the so called childhood diseases, which include measles, mumps and rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, and the polio vaccine. The incidence of these diseases is rare in the United States, but is still prevalent in other areas of the world. Routine immunizations aren’t the only diseases you need to worry about.
If you need immunizations before travel, be sure you get it done six weeks before you are scheduled to depart. The shots need time to work, and if you have them done at the last minute, they may not be 100% effective. However, having some protection is better than none, so if you are late in getting protected, you should do it anyway.
Hepatitis A can be spread through food and water consumption. Even if you are staying at a fine hotel or dining in an expensive restaurant, you have no guarantees that you are safe. Hepatitis A is easily contracted, so it is best to have the shot in New York travel clinic.
Hepatitis B is another strain that is transmitted through human blood and bodily fluids. If you have sex with someone, you are putting yourself at risk. If you are injured and have to get treatment at a local hospital, you may be at risk. You can rest a little easier by getting inoculated for both types of Hepatitis.
Both A and B type hepatitis are very contagious, but preventable. There is a series of shots that need to be taken in order to fully protect yourself from hepatitis. It is not common for American children or adults to be immunized against hepatitis, so the chances that you are already immunized is low. If you travel abroad, you should be immunized, or at least have the series of shots started before leaving US soil. This series of shots needs time to take effect. Speak with Dr. Gafanovich about timelines for receiving the hepatitis vaccine series.
Typhoid is still very active in some parts of the world, and this virus is another that is easily spread through water and food. Although this disease has been eradicated in most developed countries, in some places it may still be a risk.
Rabies vaccines are not recommended for most tourists, but if you plan to venture into some of the smaller towns or villages, you should take precautions. Stray dogs and cats commonly carry this disease, and if you visit rural areas, you may be at risk. In addition, if you are planning to hike, mountain climb, spelunk, or camp outdoors where you may come in contact with wild animals, get the shot. Even some of the cute and cuddly animals can be rabies carriers, so don’t let your guard down. Rabies is fatal once you start having symptoms, and all it takes is a scratch or a bite to contract the disease.
Malaria cases in Jamaica are rare, but do occur. Anyone spending time in the jungle or outside of city boundaries may opt to take preventative courses of medicine to protect them against malaria. Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading malaria, so if you are planning to go where they may be a problem, you should speak with Dr. Gafanovich about different ways you can prevent coming down with the disease.
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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.
To learn more or to schedule an immunization appointment in our travel clinic, contact us today.