WHAT VACCINATIONS, IMMUNIZATIONS AND MEDICATION DO I NEED?

WHAT VACCINATIONS, IMMUNIZATIONS AND MEDICATION DO I NEED?

The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals but it is recommended that you consult with your general practitioner in order to know more about any health risks you might have or encounter on your trip to Tanzania. Additionally the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Tanzania has issued guidelines and recommendations on vaccinations and preventive medication. The following information was obtained from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Tanzania.

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to East Africa. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

•    Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.

•    Hepatitis B, especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.

•    Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in East Africa, including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug.

•    Meningococcal (meningitis) if you plan to visit countries in this region that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June.

•    Rabies, pre-exposure vaccination, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.

•    Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to faecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors

•    Yellow fever, a viral disease that occurs primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The virus is also present in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travellers to endemic areas and may be required to cross certain international borders (For country-specific requirements, see Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements and Information on Malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by Country). Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10-year intervals if there is an on-going risk.

•    As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

Food and Waterborne Diseases:

During your stay in Tanzania, make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Travellers often experience illness due to food and water-borne diseases. Traveller’s diarrhoea which is caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites present in your food and water can become a huge spoiler for your trip.

Follow these to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or, if hands are not visibly soiled, use a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission.
  • In developing countries, drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.
  • Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)
  • To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot, even on beaches.
  • Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito insect bites:
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats when outdoors.
  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET (N, N-diethylmethyltoluamide).
  • If no screening or air conditioning is available: use a pyrethroid-containing spray in living and sleeping areas during evening and night-time hours; sleep under bed nets, preferably insecticide-treated ones.

Stay away from the following practices to stay healthy:

  • Do not eat food purchased from street vendors or food that is not well cooked to reduce the risk of infection (i.e., hepatitis A and typhoid fever).
  • Do not drink beverages with ice.
  • Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.
  • Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis.
  • Do not handle animals, especially monkeys, dogs, and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). Consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas.
  • Do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing or injections to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B.
  • Avoid poultry farms, bird markets, and other places where live poultry is raised or kept.
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