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All Posts in Category: International Vaccines

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Travel Vaccine Checklist: 3 Immunizations to Get Before You Go Abroad

World travel can expose you to different cultures, new environments, and exciting activities. But going abroad can also expose you to a variety of illnesses that don’t pose as much of a risk in the United States. Fortunately, you can avoid bringing home one of these unwanted souvenirs by getting all the necessary travel vaccines from HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA.

As a travel clinic in Northern Virginia, HealthSmartVaccines specializes in providing immunizations that can keep you protected in another country—and help prevent foreign illnesses from entering the United States. While these immunizations are affordable and quick to receive, this clinic stresses the importance of getting complete coverage for your travels.

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That’s why they recommend making sure you ask your provider about:

  • Routine Vaccinations: Although routine immunizations are commonplace for younger patients, there are also important vaccines for adults, especially adults traveling abroad.  Before you travel, review your immunization records to be sure that your immunizations are complete and current. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, and influenza are routinely recommended for all travelers and, depending on destinations, yellow fever, polio, rabies and Japanese Encephalitis may be recommended for required. Also, some countries require proof of immunization for meningitis. Take the time to protect yourself against serious, vaccine preventable diseases before you travel.
  • Required Vaccinations:The travel vaccines you need before heading to a specific part of the world can vary and, in some instances, are required to enter the country. Spending more than a month in Japan and traveling to rural areas may indicate immunization for Japanese Encephalitis. If you’re visiting South America or Africa, you may need to show proof you have had a yellow fever vaccination. To review specific recommendations by travel destination, visit the CDC website for a full list.
  • Recommended Vaccinations: While some vaccinations are a must for certain locations, other recommendations may fall into a certain gray area. As such, it’s a good idea to speak with a specialist at a travel clinic who can assess your particular situation and what will be necessary. For example, you may find if you’re going to a metropolitan area overseas, you may not need immunizations that are typically required for those exploring less inhabited parts of the country.

Whether you need to update your immunizations, (some have specific time limitations for optimum protection), or require destination specific vaccines, contact HealthSmartVaccines  As a highly regarded travel specialty clinic in Chantilly, VA and a 10 minute drive from Dulles International Airport, we will provide you the information and immunizations services to help protect your travel related health. If you have a question about your needs or want to schedule a visit, contact the clinic at (703) 961-0733.

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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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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 Travel Health Tips From Chantilly’s Best Travel Vaccines Clinic

Planning an international trip can be a thrilling endeavor. But before you embark on your next journey, take a moment to think about your overall health and wellness so you stay protected. That’s where HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, Virginia comes in. As the area’s leading source for travel vaccines, travel insurance, and immunizations, they have helped hundreds of travelers prepare for their adventures. If you’re planning your next trip, here are three travel health tips from the travel prep pros at HealthSmartVaccines:

  • Do Your Research: Once your trip is booked, it’s important to dive in and do your research. Will you be experiencing unsanitary conditions? Are you traveling to a country or area with a high risk of yellow fever, malaria, or other contagious diseases? Check for advisories and updates on government websites and schedule your travel vaccines and immunizations as needed to properly protect yourself. Always schedule your travel vaccines at least one month before your travel date.
  • Stock a First Aid Kit: If your adventure involves camping, outdoor activities, or the exploration of undeveloped areas, don’t forget to pack a proper first aid kit. Having important items in case of emergency like bandages, bug spray, pain medication, motion sickness pills, and anti-bacterial ointment is essential. If you have allergies to bees or certain foods, don’t forget to pack an Epipen.travel vaccines
  • Consume Water Carefully: If your adventure is taking you to a third-world country, be cautious when consuming water. Try to stick to bottled water for safety. Avoid ordering ice cubes in your drinks and if you’re enjoying a beverage like tea, order it hot instead of iced. If you’re not in a position to consume bottled water, be sure to bring along water purification tablets.

If you live in the Chantilly, Virginia area and you’re looking for a top-notch clinic that offers travel vaccines and travel insurance, call HealthSmartVaccines today at (703) 961-0733 to schedule your next appointment.

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4 Malaria Prevention Tips From HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA

HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, has been committed to keeping their community vaccinated and well informed since 1992. Over the last 23 years, HealthSmartVaccines has helped thousands of patients with vaccinations, immunizations, and flu shots & clinics. They are also a leading source for educating travelers on malaria prevention. Here are four tips from the expert team at HealthSmartVaccines for preventing malaria:

Awareness: Malaria is a severe infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Many travelers are infected every year, but most cases are preventable. The very first step is awareness. Before you embark on an exciting international journey, do your research and find out if there is any risk of contracting malaria while you visit.

Avoidance: If you have determined your destination is a high-risk area for malaria, stock up on supplies. Buy plenty of insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET. Invest in sleep netting so you’re protected overnight, and pack clothes that will protect your skin from exposure. Shorts and tank tops might seem weather appropriate, but long pants and long sleeves will offer much better protection.

Vaccines: There are various antimalarial drugs and vaccines on the market. The right vaccine for you depends on the country you’ll be visiting and your personal concerns with the frequency of dosing and potential side effects. It’s best to consult with HealthSmartVaccines to find what’s right for your needs.
Post-travel Check: Upon your return, be aware of any malaria symptoms. If you’re experiencing fever, respiratory illness, rash, or diarrhea, contact your healthcare provider right away and inform them of your recent travels.

If you live near Chantilly, Virginia and you’re looking for travel vaccines, call HealthSmartVaccines today at (703) 961-0733.

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Hepatitis: Did you know

There are 5 known types of Hepatitis disease. Most travelers are familiar with Hepatitis A & B, the only 2 which are vaccine-preventable…. but what do we know about the others and can we get them during travel?

Hepatitis C is acquired by blood to blood and body fluid contact with an infected person or instrument such as needles shared by drug users. Travelers who use tattoo/piercing facilities, receive blood transfusions or organ transplants from poorly screened donors, or participate in surgical procedures overseas may be at risk.  Usually there are no symptoms, it is lifelong and can result in death. The baby-boomer generation is most at risk along with anyone who may have received a blood transfusion prior to the 1990′s. A blood test can confirm that a person has acquired Hepatitis C. There is treatment available.

Hepatitis D can only occur if a person already has Hepatitis B. Open wounds, blood and bodily fluid exchange with an infected person can result in acute or chronic Hepatitis D for which there is NO treatment.

Hepatitis E is an uncommon virus in the United States. Water contaminated with feces can be common in Africa, Central America, South America and parts of Asia and the Middle East. Hep E can be extremely serious for pregnant women and there is NO treatment.  Travelers should take care to avoid water from unknown sources. Drinking only bottled water, boiling or use of chlorinated tablets is the only way to avoid Hep E.

Hepatitis A is prevalent all over the world. Prior to the vaccine being available in the 1990′s,  it was a very common illness acquired during travel outside the US.  Mild to severe symptoms can occur following ingestion of food or drink contaminated with feces of an infected person. Never assume that other nations have the same strict food handling standards as we do in the US. Eat well cooked foods, stay away from raw salad and seafood unless sure of the source. Drink bottled water. Heat can destroy the virus, freezing does not!

Hepatitis B  Since the introduction of the vaccine in the early 1990′s, there has been an 82% decrease in reported hepatitis B infections in the US. Remarkable! Globally, about 2 billion have Hep B. Most have chronic infection, are carriers and many have died as Hep B can lead to cirrhosis and death. Travelers are at high risk. There may be NO “standard precautions” in facilities outside the US.  Contact with blood and body fluids during sex, medical procedures using contaminated instruments during medical tourism, dental procedures you didn’t expect or accidents in which you are hospitalized and may possibly face blood transfusion from unknown resources. You cannot tell by looking at someone they carry the Hep B virus, therefore BE PREPARED-GET VACCINATED!

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Vaccines REQUIRED or RECOMMENDED?

Disease patterns around the globe determine the recommendation of vaccination prior to international travel. For more than 60 years the World Health Organization has made its health information available to all countries with the goal of identifying, preventing and/or containing vaccine preventable diseases. Many diseases that have been eliminated in the United States and Canada are still prevalent in many countries putting travellers  at risk of acquiring one of these diseases again and infecting those around them upon their return! Public health emergencies of international concern(PHEIC) like Polio in the 1950′s and more recent, the 2009 pandemic H1N1, prompted immediate global response. It was recommended that all U.S. citizens receive the H1N1 vaccine. Travellers are especially at high risk for the seasonal flu and many other preventable diseases. Our CDC makes the recommendations of travel vaccines and health information based on WHO surveillance and reporting of disease as well as risk to our citizens.

Travel to parts of South America or Africa, and you will encounter a requirement of Yellow Fever vaccine prior to entering certain countries. All countries have a responsibility to protect their citizens against a disease like Yellow Fever which could endanger entire populations at any time. The traveller must present an International Certificate of Immunization (ICVP) or face possible quarantine in some countries.  You may be at low risk based on your itinerary, accommodations, or season of travel BUT low risk is not NO risk!  A CDC authorized Yellow Fever center such as HealthSmartVaccines, can provide more in-depth travel health information, recommended or required vaccines and certificate of proof for all vaccines. Call 703-961-0733 for more information.

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