Europe attracts millions of U.S. tourists and business travelers annually. Europe is an important political ally to and economic partner of the United States. Europe’s location alone puts the continent at a crucial geographical point in global trading routes. These routes meet in Europe, and from there trades are initiated and shipments exported to several hundred of other countries.
If you are planning a trip to Europe, and will be visiting many different countries, you should be sure you are up to date on all your immunizations. Nothing will stop a vacation faster than falling prey to a vaccine preventable illness. The most important vaccinations to have are those which are given routinely in the United States to children. These vaccinations include MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus), and the Poliovirus vaccine. MMR and DPT are all routinely given here in the United States, so you may already be inoculated. Have your general practitioner run checks to make sure you don’t need any boosters and that you have, in fact, been inoculated against these diseases plus polio.
You should give yourself six weeks before you travel to have all your immunizations in order. Many of the vaccines need at least six weeks to become 100% effective, and in the case of Hepatitis A and B, you will need up to six months for the series of vaccines to give you protection. So, planning ahead and following through with your vaccination appointments will insure you against disease. Even if you don’t have enough time before you leave, get the immunizations anyway. Having a degree of protection is desirable to none at all.
Of the vaccine preventable illnesses that still spread in some parts of Europe, Hepatitis A and B is likely the most commonly contracted. Hepatitis A is spread primarily through contaminated food and water. You can, however become infected by close personal contact with someone, such as a family member you live with.
Hepatitis B is spread through sexual contact, and is also easily communicable through blood, saliva, or any other human bodily fluid. Even if you have so called “protected” sex, you are not immune from Hep B without also being immunized. If you happen to need hospitalization while you are in Europe, you may need a blood transfusion or other surgery where you could be exposed. Not all countries practice sterility protocols as we do in the United States, so having your shot is the only way to be safe.
Typhoid still rears its ugly head in some areas of Europe, so you will want to be sure you are inoculated against typhus. While this disease is not an issue here in the U.S., many U.S. citizens come back home with this nasty disease because they didn’t take steps to prevent it.
Other diseases, such as rabies, malaria, and yellow fever are extremely uncommon in Europe for the average tourist to worry about. However, if you are planning to camp outdoors, hike, mountain climb, go spelunking, or even just backpack across Europe, you will want to talk to your travel doctor and discuss your plans. Things like rabies, for example, can be contracted from a squirrel bite. Mosquitoes are the cause of yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria. If you think you will be spending some time on outdoor recreation, or where you may come in contact with wildlife, you should get vaccinated.
Vaccinations for Europe in New York travel clinic
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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 make an appointment with our travel doctor in order to get your vaccinations and preventative medicine courses, please contact us today.