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All Posts in Category: Adult Vaccines

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A Guide to Yellow Fever & Why You Should Get Vaccinated

It’s crucial to research potential medical issues that could arise while traveling outside of the U.S. If you’re going to a location that has ample mosquitoes and a high risk for contracting yellow fever, it’s essential to get vaccines. Below are a few reasons why.

What Is Yellow Fever?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yellow fever spreads as infected mosquitoes bite humans. Symptoms range from headaches and muscle aches to fevers and chills that occur around three to six days after being bitten. Nearly one-sixth of the people who develop yellow fever become seriously ill and may experience organ failure, shock, or bleeding due to the disease or related complications.

What Are the Risk Factors for Contracting Yellow Fever?

vaccineThe Mayo Clinic recommends individuals over nine months old who are traveling to countries with a recent history of yellow fever infections should get the vaccine. The CDC notes that Africa and South America present the most cases of yellow fever. Individuals who visit these areas should be vaccinated 10 or more days before leaving for their trip.

At the vaccine appointment you will receive a yellow card, officially called an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, that you should bring along for the duration of your travels as you may need it to enter some countries.

Yellow fever vaccines work for up to 10 years for most people. However, if you plan to return to yellow fever-infected areas after this timeline, it’s wise to talk with your doctor about an additional booster vaccine.

 

Before leaving the country, visit a physician to learn about any vaccines or medications you should take along. To learn more about the yellow fever or other vaccines contact HealthSmart Vaccines in Chantilly, VA, at (703) 961-0733.

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Do You Need a Vaccination for Your Next Trip?

Nothing can ruin a fun-filled vacation faster than illness. While there’s always a possibility of getting sick or injured wherever you are in the world, there are some precautions you can take to stay healthy while traveling. Getting vaccinations before embarking on your trip can prevent all kinds of ailments, from measles to tetanus.

vaccinationsWhen discussing travel vaccines, it’s important to realize that these shots aren’t just necessary for exotic destinations. A 2015 outbreak of measles linked to Disney parks proves that you don’t have to be far from home to get sick. This highlights the first essential step of travel vaccine planning: Ensure that all regular vaccinations are up to date.

If you’re going further afield, you may need additional shots to ensure a safe trip. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a useful website that provides vaccine recommendations for every country. If you’re traveling to Belize, for instance, they recommend hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines for “most” travelers. Meanwhile, “some” travelers may also be advised to get shots for hepatitis B, rabies, yellow fever, and malaria.

Several factors differentiate “most” from “some” travelers, and the subsequent suggestions for both. A rabies vaccination is an urgent matter for children who are more prone to play with wild animals, while the need for malaria medication might depend on whether you plan to backpack through the jungle or stay in a five-star hotel.

A travel medicine expert can best advise regarding your unique vaccination needs before a trip. Make sure you consult a professional well in advance, as some vaccines require weeks of incubation time and booster shots before they are effective. While this will add to your travel planning, it’s well worth the effort: With a simple shot, there’s no need to let preventable diseases ruin your vacation.

 

 

If you’re planning a trip and aren’t sure whether you need travel vaccines, HealthSmart Vaccines can help. Located in Chantilly, VA, they offer a full range of vaccinations that will keep you fit on your holiday. In addition to comprehensive travel health advice, vaccines, and medications, they also have travel insurance services. To schedule an appointment, contact them online or by calling (703) 961-0733. 

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5 Key Facts to Know About the Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to minimize your risk of contracting the flu. January is not too late to vaccinate. The peak of the flu season is usually late January through April with the peak in the February and March period. Live or work in the Chantilly area? Visit HealthSmartVaccines’ clinic for your flu shot and all adult vaccine needs including travel vaccines. If you plan to fly this winter, especially longer and international flights, it is especially important to have a flu shot. Remember, there are two different vaccines available this year and for the best protection, be sure you receive the vaccine that protects against four different strains of flu. HealthSmartVaccines only offers the better vaccine.

Our modern and convenient immunization clinic offers the vaccines you need to stay healthy and protected against preventable contagious diseases at home and on the road. We also offer travel insurance through Travel Guard, an AIG company. A minimal investment in travel protection may protect both your health and your wallet.

FLU FACTS — Q & A

  • Why You Should Get It: The flu can vary in intensity and may affect people in different ways. Millions of people contract it every year, and in serious cases, it can require hospitalization and even cause death. Getting a flu shot is the single best way to avoid contracting the illness. Between 35,000 and 40,000 Americans die of the flu every year.
  • How The Vaccine Works: Over the course of the two weeks following your shot, antibodies will develop in response to fight the small amount of viruses that are present in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine prepares your body to fight four different types of influenza viruses.

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  • Who Should Get It: For children six months to age 17, contact your pediatrician or family physician. Most adults between age 18 and 64 should receive an annual flu shot. Adults 65 and older should receive a special high dose flu shot designed especially for this age group.  If you have any doubts or concerns, call HealthSmartVaccines or consult with your personal physician.
  • Pregnancy: It is recommended that women who are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant should receive a flu shot.
  • Are there some people who should not receive a flu shot? Yes If you have ever had a reaction to the flu or any vaccine, consult with your physician. If you are allergic to eggs or taking medications that may affect your immune system, consult with your physician.
  • How Often You Should Go: It’s recommended that individuals get vaccinated annually, because the viruses are constantly changing. The vaccination is updated regularly, and you need the latest shot for the most thorough protection.

To schedule your flu vaccine with HealthSmartVaccines, call (703) 961-0733. You can also visit the center’s website to learn more about their additional services.

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What are the High-Risk Areas for Contracting Yellow Fever?

Before you take off on an overseas vacation, it’s important to make sure you’re informed about any potential health or safety hazards you may face during your visit. For example, if you’ve recently booked a tropical getaway, you may need to take precautions to protect yourself against yellow fever. Today, Chantilly, Virginia’s top travel clinic, HealthSmartVaccines, will explain what you need to know about this dangerous disease.

Yellow fever, which is a mosquito-borne illness, is prevalent in tropical and subtropical zones of South America and Africa. Still, an estimated nine in 10 reported cases of the disease occur in Africa, where it is endemic in 34 countries, including Uganda, Angola, and Ghana. Meanwhile, it’s endemic in 13 South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil. While there have been no reports of yellow fever in Asia, mosquitoes that could carry the disease do exist there.

More than half the people who contract yellow fever will die from it. Since this disease has no known cure, doctors recommend the yellow fever vaccination as the most effective and responsible mode of prevention. It’s safe, affordable, and provides lifelong immunity against the disease. If you’re heading to South America, Africa, or even Asia, obtain your yellow fever vaccination beforehand, just in case. That way, you can enjoy a fun, stress-free, and healthy vacation.

To ensure you stay safe on your next trip, make sure you’re up to date on all your travel vaccinations. For more information about staying protected, call the experts from HealthSmartVaccines today at (703) 961-0733.

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3 Ways to Fend off Illness After Getting Your Flu Vaccine

Although getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against illness this winter, the flu shot is not 100% effective. The flu vaccine may not protect everyone from the flu, but the CDC reports that it can still prevent several flu-related complications.

If you’re ready to get your annual flu shot, turn to HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA. Here are three additional ways to fend off illness this winter:

  • Limit Contact: Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick, and if you fall ill, limit your own contact with others. The CDC recommends that people with flu symptoms remain at home for at least 24 hours after their fever has subsided except to seek medical treatment.
  • Wash Your Hands: It is important to wash your hands frequently all season long. Use soap and water, and scrub your hands thoroughly every time. If you do not have access to a sink with soap, use an alcohol-based sanitizer, instead.
  • flu vaccineDisinfect Surfaces: Clean and disinfect the surfaces in your home, car, and office that could easily get contaminated with disease-causing germs. Bring portable bleach wipes with you when you’re out running errands so you can wipe down the handle on your shopping cart. You can also carry alcohol-based sanitizer in your purse for when you’re in a pinch and don’t have any wipes handy.

If you want to avoid catching the flu this year, the above tips will help. Ultimately, it comes down to developing an awareness of where flu germs are likely lurking. For example, you should avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose, especially when you’re out in public.

If you want to protect your family from the flu this year, turn to HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA. Call (703) 961-0733 to schedule a flu vaccine today.

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3 Travel Vaccination Suggestions for Business Travelers

If your work requires you to visit locations out of the country, travel vaccinations are an important part of preparing for your business trip. HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, provides vaccines to employees at multi-national corporations to help them avoid contracting any diseases while in the host country. They will also provide you with a travel nurse who will go over all precautions you should take and any health risks you could possibly face.

Travel vaccinations and precautions for business travelers are unique because their work could require extensive stays in foreign countries or recurrent trips, which can increase the risk of developing certain diseases. If you know that your work will require you to travel, here are a few vaccination tips you should follow:

  • Take Preemptive Measures: For many business travelers, trips can often come up at the last minute. However, many vaccinations are required to be administered at least a month before traveling to ensure the vaccine has developed an immune response. Also, if the location the person is visiting requires more than one travel vaccination, vaccines may need to be administered more than one month apart.
  • Stay Up-To-Date On Routine Vaccines: Business travelers should follow national recommendations for routine vaccines such as influenza, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, and zoster. Many of these travel vaccinations are incredibly important when traveling to other countries that have had breakdowns in specific vaccines. For example, many areas in Africa and Europe have had a rise in measles outbreaks since 2008, creating a worldwide measles resurgence. Also, numerous countries, including Germany, Nigeria, India, Iraq, and Afghanistan have experienced new outbreaks of wild poliovirus.
  • Vaccinate Against All Preventable Diseases: When traveling to a country, especially for a long period of time, it is wise to get vaccinated against all treatable diseases you could develop in the host country. These travel vaccinations should especially include the rabies and hepatitis B vaccines, as these could both be incredibly expensive and hard to obtain in many other countries.

To learn more about travel vaccinations and protecting your employees while they are in other countries on business, contact HealthSmartVaccines today. Schedule your consultation by calling (703) 961-0733. You can also visit them online to learn more about vaccines for preventable diseases. Stay up to date on current disease outbreaks and necessary vaccines by following them on Facebook.

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How to Observe a TB Test Injection

The tuberculosis test, also called a TB test, is often administered to people who are seeking a job working with children or the elderly. HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, offers TB tests at an affordable price while seeking to help patients understand the results of this common skin test.

TB testA TB test is administered through an injection in the inner forearm. Results must be read within a window of 48 to 72 hours. Waiting to read the results outside of 72 hours will require the test to be redone. HealthSmartVaccines knows that some patients will be anxious for results, and while patients cannot read the results on their own, they can keep track of the injection site during the wait window.

  • Do Not Cover Or Scratch: In order for results to be accurate, it is crucial that patients do not cover the injection site with a bandage of any kind. It is also important to not scratch or rub the injection site, which can cause swelling and redness that might obscure the real results of the test. You can wash the area as you would wash normally.
  • Check For Bump: Once inside the 48- to 72-hour window, you can use your fingertips to gently check for a bump at the injection site. If there is no firm bump, chances are the results of your TB test are negative. Even if there is soft swelling and slight redness, the absence of a bump probably means a negative result. If you have can feel a firm bump, this could be a positive result. Either way, in order to get real medical results, you must return to HealthSmartVaccines and have a medical professional determine the results.
  • Track Changes: While you cannot determine the results on your own, you can track the progress of your TB test for your own peace of mind. If you find it helpful, you can also jot down notes on the changes you notice at the injection site to share with your doctor when you come in to find the results.

 

In addition to administering TB tests, HealthSmartVaccines also provides vaccinations for infants, children, and adults. Whether you need a flu shot for winter, travel vaccinations before your big trip overseas, or vaccines for travel insurance, they can help. Call (703) 961-0733 to schedule an appointment today.

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What Is Yellow Fever? HealthSmartVaccines Explains

When you’re traveling abroad, especially to tropical climates like Africa and South America, protection against infectious diseases like yellow fever is vital. Fortunately, Chantilly, Virginia-based HealthSmartVaccines has you covered with a yellow fever vaccination. This CDC-approved yellow fever center shares expert advice on guarding yourself against this potentially fatal disease.

What Is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is viral infectious disease transmitted from infected mosquitoes to humans. Yellow fever gets its “yellow” nickname from causing hepatitis and jaundice. Vaccines are the best defense against yellow fever.

yellow fever vaccineWhere Did Yellow Fever Originate?

The history of yellow fever can be traced back to 17th-century Africa. It spread to the Americas from ship to shore, where outbreaks continued to occur until the first vaccination was developed in the 1930s.

Which Areas Are High Risk For Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is found primarily in the tropical climates of Africa and South America.The vast majority of people infected with yellow fever in these areas are not vaccinated, which underscores the importance of receiving vaccines before you travel.

How Does Yellow Fever Spread?

Yellow fever is a virus that’s transmitted from infected mosquitoes to humans. Travelers can effectively prevent contracting yellow fever with a vaccination.

What Are The Symptoms Of Yellow Fever?

Early symptoms are flu-like and therefore hard to attribute to yellow fever. However, as the disease progresses, more serious symptoms develop, including abdominal pain, jaundice, bleeding problems, kidney failure, and seizures.

Can Yellow Fever Be Prevented?

In most cases, yes. Yellow fever can be prevented with vaccines. This provides immunity for a decade or more after a single dose, with a booster vaccination recommended every 10 years.

If a trip to Africa or South America is in your plans, protect yourself with a travel vaccination. Visit the HealthSmartVaccines.com for a full list of services, then call (703) 961-0733 to make an appointment today.

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3 Tips for Safe Summer Travel From HealthSmartVaccines

The travel clinic team from HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, wants to make sure all of their local patients enjoy fantastic summer adventures filled with fun and exploration. They know that for many people, traveling is a big part of living life to the fullest, which is why they created this handy list of travel safety tips everyone should follow.

Follow these easy tips to keep yourself safe during your summer travels:

  • Invest In Travel Insurance: Unexpected things happen, and travel insurance can be a real lifesaver if you lose your luggage, miss a flight, or find yourself delayed by weather or a natural disaster. Most travel insurance plans also include fantastic 24/7 assistance services, which are great for additional peace of mind during your travels. Looking for a travel insurance plan that also covers medical and evacuation benefits when traveling off-shore? HealthSmartVaccines and Travel Guard have you covered. Contact us for details.

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  • Get Your Travel Vaccinations Now: Traveling to international destinations often requires getting vaccinations. A surprising number of people fail to realize they will need travel vaccines and either wait until the last minute to get them or forget altogether and find their travel plans thwarted. If you’re traveling internationally, do yourself a favor and get any necessary vaccinations sooner rather than later.
  • Pack A First-Aid Kit: It’s always wise to travel with a basic first aid kit. In addition to packing essentials like bandages and anti-diarrheal medication, you should make sure you have any necessary prescriptions fully filled before you travel; including prescription pills, EpiPens, inhalants, and any other medications you or your family members may require.

The team at HealthSmartVaccines is ready and waiting to get you and your family ready for a summer of safe travel. Call HealthSmart Vaccines today at (703) 961-0733.

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What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus From Chantilly’s Vaccination Experts

Getting a mosquito bite while you’re relaxing on a beach can be more than just annoying—it can be dangerous. Scientists are now connecting the Zika virus, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, with rises in a serious birth defect and a rare autoimmune disorder. At HealthSmartVaccines, the healthcare professionals are committed to keeping travelers protected against mosquito-transmitted diseases in Africa, South America, and Central America.

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For nearly 10 years, HealthSmartVaccines has been the leading provider of vaccinations for adults age 18 and older in the Chantilly, Virginia, area. A CDC-approved Yellow Fever Center, the healthcare providers at HealthSmartVaccines offer four essential facts you need to know about the Zika virus:

  • The Virus Is Spread By Mosquito Bites And By Sex: The Zika virus is most commonly spread when a mosquito bites a person with an infection and then bites others. However, the first case of locally acquired Zika in the United States was passed when an individual had sex with a partner who had recently contracted the mosquito-borne virus while in Venezuela.
  • The Symptoms Are Mild: About 80% of people who become infected don’t experience any symptoms. People who do exhibit symptoms notice fever and rash, muscle and joint pain, headaches, pain behind the eyes, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms last anywhere from two to seven days. Although no treatment is available, the fever and pain can be managed by over-the-counter medications.

  • It Is Linked to Serious Conditions: Although only one in five people will get sick from a Zika infection, the virus is linked to other serious conditions. Following an infection in adults, there are higher rates of Guillain-Barré syndrome, and in pregnant women, the virus can cause birth defects, including microcephaly.

  • You Can Protect Yourself: Because there is no vaccine, the experts at HealthSmartVaccines recommend avoiding travel to areas with active infestation. If you must travel to a country where Zika is present, the healthcare professionals recommend using an EPA-approved repellent, wearing long pants and long-sleeve shirts, and sleeping in screened rooms. Pregnant women should not travel to countries where Zika is active.

Because unborn babies are most at risk from Zika virus complications, scientists are working to develop a vaccine for women of reproductive age to prevent birth defects. HealthSmartVaccines offers other travel related immunizations such a typhoid (oral and injected), hepatitis A and B in a single shot given three times over 6 months, polio, and yellow fever among others. We also provide advise on protecting yourself against mosquito bites, how to to chose the best travel insurance plan for your trip and other services.

The most important things you can do to protect yourself from mosquito-borne viruses, including Zika, malaria, and yellow fever, are to be aware of the risks in countries you’re traveling to, avoid high-risk areas, stock up on insect repellent supplies, and stay up to date with your vaccines.

For more information about the Zika virus, yellow fever, and malaria prevention, visit the HealthSmartVaccines website, or call the clinic at (703) 961-0733.

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