If you’re preparing for a trip, you have lots of things to think about: booking flights, choosing a hotel, making an itinerary, packing, and so on. As you think about travelling, make sure you don’t forget one of the most important parts of travel preparation: travel vaccinations.
If you are exposed to a new disease abroad, it could do more than just spoil your trip. You could be seriously ill, possibly even endangering your life, and bringing the disease home to risk spreading it to more people. For this reason, travel medication is extremely important.
As worldwide tourism has taken people to more and more far-flung destinations, travelers are being exposed to more diseases. Many places outside of the UK, particularly those in tropical regions or rural areas, have diseases that are not common at home.
This means that you have no natural immunity built up towards them, and you have probably not been vaccinated against them as a child. This means that, as a traveler, you can be highly vulnerable to new and very dangerous diseases.
Many serious diseases are more common in underdeveloped and rural areas, where safe hygiene and clean drinking water are not ubiquitous. Diseases such as malaria, hepatitis A and B, and rabies are commonly spread through the following means:
Eating and drinking anything that has come into contact with contaminated water
Contact with people with poor hygiene
Contact with animals
As you can see, it can be very easy to pick up a serious disease while travelling. Particularly if you are travelling to a destination in the tropics or to a rural area that may not have clean water for drinking and cooking, it is essential that you get vaccinated before travelling.
No matter where you’re travelling to, you should speak with our specialist travel clinician about what travel vaccinations you may need. Health risks vary from year to year, and you may be exposed to new diseases even in highly developed areas. To ensure that you stay healthy while travelling and avoid coming home with a serious illness, make sure that you get any travel vaccinations you need before leaving on a trip.