Russia is a country full of historical and cultural wonders. Not only are the cities fascinating, the countryside with its varied geographical elements leaves little to be desired. A trip to this vast country is one which will remain in the hearts and minds of travelers for a lifetime.
While planning your trip to Russia, it is vital to think about your vaccinations. Before leaving the United States, it is recommended by NY Travel Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control that you are up to date on your regular vaccine boosters. While being inoculated is a huge advantage, many of us forgo booster shots as adults. The only practical way to prevent the spread of deadly diseases is to be vaccinated against them.
Nearly all New Yorkers are inoculated against several diseases, such as varicella, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus as children. Over time, these vaccines lose their effectiveness. The human immune system must be reminded of how to fight these diseases. Inoculations are the only way to do that, other than actually contracting and recovering from the disease. Do your body a favor and get your booster shots at travel clinic at least 4 to 6 weeks before your departure date.
Russian and American health authorities advise travelers to get their Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines before entering the country. Depending on the type of Hepatitis vaccines you get, a series of shots may be required. This can take months to complete. Even if you do not have months to wait before your travel date, completing even part of this series of shots is important. Hepatitis can be spread in body fluid exchanges, in contaminated food and by blood. If you plan on having any type of sexual exchange with any of the Russian population, use protection and get immunized first.
Diseases that do affect certain parts of Russia that very rarely affect Americans are Japanese Encephalitis and rabies. Encephalitis is an infection in the brain and nervous system that can be fatal. It is also excruciatingly painful. Those who contract the disease and survive are often left with brain damage. The inoculation process is quick and easy, with side-effects being few and almost always mild in nature.
Rabies is, perhaps, the most deadly disease that could affect you during your travels. It is possible to contract the disease by receiving a simple scratch from a seemingly healthy animal. The disease can incubate in the body for several months, with the host showing no signs or symptoms of the disease. However, symptoms can present themselves as soon as the immune system is weakened. As soon as symptoms begin to show, the disease is too far progressed to treat. Nearly everyone who gets rabies dies of the disease. The CDC recommends that travelers who are likely to have a run-in with any animals that could carry the disease be vaccinated.
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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.
Dr. Gafanovich specializes in travel medicine, and Russia holds a special place of significance for her. To learn about how to protect yourself against diseases, injuries and illnesses while traveling in Russia, make an appointment today.