Although Africa is not considered as a favorable continent, owing to various unfair cultural stereotypes and the varied climatic conditions, it is a beautiful continent with different geographical wonders, the abundance of nature’s beauty and hundreds and thousands of tribes which makes it a kaleidoscope of culture, beauty and different wonders. If you plan to travel to any part of Africa with your family, then congratulations on choosing such a unique location! We wish you all the best for your beautiful journey ahead. But because we care for you, it is our duty to remind you of the precautions you should take while travelling to Africa, owing to the various health hazards that visitors are posed with because of the deplorable living conditions in some part. In this article, we will talk about the cdc travel vaccines that you and your family members need to take while travelling to Africa.
CDC Travel Vaccines Checklist While Visiting South Africa
Including a visit to your local travel doctor before you go to Africa will help ensure you protect your health while you are away and increase the chances of coming home healthy. If you are travelling to African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and other African countries the following vaccinations are generally recommended;
It is a good idea to ensure you are up to date with all the common childhood vaccinations before visiting an African country (you may even need a booster). This includes:
Tetanus, Diptheria and Whooping Cough
Immunizations for tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, measles, mumps and rubella (mmr).
Hepatitis a(also called hep a or hav) is typically transmitted through contaminated food or very close personal contact with an infected person. Water-borne outbreaks can happen in under-developed or developing countries. The full two-dose hep a vaccine is strongly recommended when visiting under-developed or developing countries and other precautions for hygiene and food safety should be taken.
Some African countries won’t let you enter without the required vaccinations. The most common vaccination required for entry into African countries is yellow fever vaccination. Your travel doctor will be able to recommend when vaccinations form part of your destination country’s entry requirements.
A yellow fever vaccination is compulsory if you are returning to Australia from Uganda and a vaccination certificate from an approved travel vaccination centre will be required upon re-entry. Yellow fever mainly spreads from the bite of infected mosquitoes. We strongly advise travellers to vaccinate against yellow fever. Yellow fever vaccinationis not compatible with some vaccinations so we recommend you seek travel vaccination advice well before the departure. Please note that the yellow fever vaccination is a mandatory vaccination when travelling to some African countries.
Typhoid fever is caused by bacteria (from the bacteria salmonella group) found in contaminated food and water. Food is commonly contaminated by the hands of carriers and examples of food that could be contaminated are ice, shell-fish from sewerage contaminated water, raw fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Typhoid fever occurs worldwide but is more common in developing countries. We strongly recommend protecting yourself by getting the typhoid vaccine if you are travelling to a developing country.
Depending on the destination, purpose and length of your trip, a rabies vaccination may be recommended. Rabies is typically transmitted by a bite or scratch from an infected animal. If you are intending to work on farms or work with other animals, we strongly advise you to have the prophylactic anti-rabies vaccination. As this vaccination involves a series of three vaccinations it is recommended you plan ahead for it.
Meningitis can be viral, fungal or bacterial in nature. It is caused when the protective membranes (meninges) covering the brain and spinal cord become swollen and inflamed. Symptoms can be similar to those of the common flu. The different types of meningitis differ in severity and the most serious bacterial form of meningitis is meningococcal meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis can be fatal. It is transmitted from person to person by direct contact and / through coughing and sneezing. Mencevax can protect you against this form of meningitis.
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The above vaccinations are recommendations only. See your doctor to get health and vaccination recommendations based on your overall health, age and your travel itinerary. Book your appointment with your doctor well in advance of your trip because some vaccines may require a long period to take effect and more than one dose may be required. Remember, a responsible vacation includes taking all precautionary measures before going to visit a new place.