Traveling to the United Kingdom can be a wonderfully rich and enlightening vacation. Much of the history of the U.S. can be traced back several centuries there. But there are preparations you can make which will make your trip much simpler, safer, and with less to worry about. Immunization is at the top of the list of things you should do before planning a trip.
First, you should check your immunization history to see that you are up to date on all your shots and boosters. Next, you should plan your vaccinations through your healthcare provider so that you are fully protected before you leave. 4-6 weeks are needed to insure that the immunizations have time to run their course, and to give you the maximum effectiveness.
Even if you are on a tight schedule and there isn’t enough time for the immunizations to take effect, you should still get them done. Being partially protected is far better than not being protected at all in the long run. Not having enough time to get it done is no excuse.
There are many other nearby countries that are a lure to vacationers. If you plan to travel outside of the U.K., you should find out from your healthcare provider if there are any other immunizations you need. There may be other treatments that are available that can be beneficial. Feeling safe on your journey will greatly add to your enjoyment.
The first step is to be sure you are current with your measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Also equally important is to have the DPT vaccine, which protects you from diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. These two are the first line of defense, and if you are currently immunized, you are one step ahead.
Hepatitis, both A and B type, can also be something a traveler might become exposed to in the U.K. These diseases can be transmitted in food or water, and are easily combated with a simple inoculation. There is equal risk of exposure in “American” hotels and restaurants, so don’t trust that you are any less at risk.
Hepatitis B, in particular, can be transmitted through body fluid exchange, so anyone who has unprotected sex is at risk. There are those, too, who will be in an unfortunate accident and may need treatment. Not all hospitals will have ideal sterilization techniques, so you will be safe from any blood borne hepatitis.
There are other diseases that could put you at risk when you travel the U.K. The first, typhoid, is something that could be an issue in some regions, so be sure to be vaccinated. Typhus is still very much alive in the world, and Great Britain is no exception. While the vaccine is not a legal requirement, it is advisable.
The rabies virus is also a problem in UK animals. If left untreated, there are almost no survivors when rabies sets in. If you are planning outdoor activities that may involve animal exposure, then you will want to get your rabies vaccine. Remember that many “cute” animals like squirrels and birds can carry rabies, so if you will be out and about in the countryside spelunking, hiking, or camping, be safe and secure by taking preventive measures.
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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.
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