When planning a trip to Italy, there are many things to see and do. You will sightsee, eat at fine restaurants and sidewalk cafes, and stay in luxurious hotels or culturally rich local accommodations. Your trip to Italy is one that will give you memories to last a lifetime. Many travelers fall in love with this romantic and beautiful country without considering the dangers that can befall travelers.
It is important to remember not to fall victim to the illusion that you are safe from several of the diseases which afflict many Mediterranean countries. You must have a proactive plan in place to combat the unseen threats that may lurk in unobtrusive places.
A couple of months before you depart, check with your doctor or health professional to see if you are up to date on current immunizations, or if you need any booster shots. The most effective way to be inoculated from illness is to plan to get any shots you need 4-6 weeks before you are ready to depart the United States. Since you want to be fully prepared, don’t waste too much time. Immunizations need time to work up to their full effectiveness and afford you the best protection.
If your trip to Italy involves travel to any other nearby countries, mention this to your healthcare provider. There may be other treatments available that are needed or desirable.
If you are not up to date on your measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, this one is as important as any other. Italy does not routinely vaccinate it’s population from many of the illnesses we do in the United States, so any extra shield you can put between you and the enemy is a good idea.
Your tetanus/diphtheria and polio shots are another important bit of weaponry in your arsenal of protection. Never assume you are up to date on this vaccine. Check you immunization history to see if you need a booster.
Hepatitis B can be an issue in Italy as well as here at home. It can be transmitted easily through sexual contact, as well as from personal contact with the local people. In the event that you are in an accident while you are away, you may have to visit a hospital, and since hepatitis B can be spread by bodily fluids, you’ll want to be sure you are safe from exposure. As the old medical adage states: “An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure”, you’ll want to be absolutely certain you have the advantage you need.
Rabies isn’t an issue for the routine vacationer, but if you plan to do any outdoor activities, you may want to consider getting vaccinated against it. Hikers, spelunkers, and mountain climbers will may come into contact with the local wildlife, and animals are the main carriers of the rabies virus. Bats are common in hills, canyons, and caves all throughout Italy, so you will be making the right choice to be prepared. Anyone who may come into contact with dogs, cats, or domestic animals will also be ahead of the game by getting the 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.
There are 46 million visitors to Italy each year from the U.S., and most of them come back safe and healthy from their trip. So don’t let complacency or oversight land you in a health crisis.
To make an appointment for your immunizations or to learn more about your health needs while traveling, contact us today.