The Best Shot for Travel Health

When travelling outside of Canada, your risk of catching illnesses can increase due to the differing health standards and exposure to different environments.  

As you start planning your next vacation, it is a good idea to visit your local heath care provider. This way, you can check that your standard immunizations are still valid (such as flu and measles) and whether there are any special vaccination requirements for your itinerary. 

Here are some commonly recommended vaccines for travellers: 

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is the most common vaccine-preventable disease for travellers. Protection against Hepatitis A is highly recommended for all travellers visiting developing or endemic countries, particularly if you’re going to rural areas or places with inadequate sanitation facilities.  

The Hepatitis A virus is transmitted when we eat or drink something that is contaminated with the virus. Raw or undercooked food, food handled by those who have not washed their hands, and water contaminated by human waste are often sources of the virus.

Hepatitis B
The Hepatitis B virus is responsible for the most common form of hepatitis in the world. The virus can be spread through sexual contact, the exchange of blood or bodily fluids, or by objects contaminated by bodily fluids, such as needles, tattoo equipment, or spa equipment. 

Regardless of the destination, anyone who may engage in activities that place them at risk for infection during their travels should receive the vaccination. 

Travellers' Diarrhea
Diarrhea is the most common medical problem affecting travellers, especially if visiting a less developed country. Symptoms of Travellers’ Diarrhea can include abnormally frequent, loose bowel movements, abdominal cramps, nausea, bloating, and fever. 

Travellers’ Diarrhea can occur by consuming contaminated food or water. An oral vaccine is available to reduce your risk of becoming ill from Travellers’ Diarrhea.
 
For a full list of recommended or required travel vaccinations, check The Government of Canada Travel Advisories. And regardless of your destination, check with your local pharmacist or health care professional to make sure you have everything you need to travel. 

The information in this article is presented strictly for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please see your health care provider if you have any questions about your condition, medication, or treatment.