Welcome to HealthSmartVaccines

Monday - Friday 9am to 6pm
   Contact : 703-961-0733

All Posts in Category: Travel

anopheles-minimus-mosquito

Super Malaria: What You Should Know

‘Super Malaria’: What You Should Know

Recent news reports about ‘super malaria’ are on the minds of many travelers. What exactly is ‘super malaria’ and to what extent should travelers be concerned about it?

Q: What is ‘super malaria’?

A: Super malaria’ is a term coined by the media that refers to resistance strains of malaria which have emerged in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS): Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Southern Vietnam.  There is no medical or scientific term called ‘super malaria.’

Q: Is ‘super malaria’ new?

A: No, it is not new. The public health and scientific communities have known about it since 2008.  However, based on recently published reports from the region, it is gaining a much larger footprint in Southeast Asia, which has everyone alarmed.

Q: What is malaria resistance?

A: Malaria resistance refers to strains of the parasite which seem resistant to the most commonly and effectively used treatments for malaria.  For many years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a two-drug therapy for simple infections caused by malaria — medications commonly referred to Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT).  ‘Super malaria’ thus refers to cases in the GMS which are showing resistance to ACTs, something that seems to be more common and growing at an alarming rate.

Q: Is malaria resistance new?

A: No, malaria resistance is not new.  In fact, malaria resistance has been around ever since we’ve figured out how to treat malaria, but we have always been able to develop newer medications or combinations of medicines to combat the resistant infections.

Q: Can ‘super malaria’ be treated?

A: Yes, ‘super malaria’ can be treated.  Health facilities in the region have already begun using a different combination of ACTs, ones that include mefloquine.  Mefloquine is a commonly prescribed malaria prophylactic for people traveling into malaria regions, particularly by US travelers prescribed by US physicians.

Q: What should I do if I plan on traveling to this region?

A: The simple answer is to continue to do all the things travelers should do when traveling into areas where there’s malaria:

  • Use strong insect repellants
  • Be sure to cover your arms and legs to prevent mosquito bites (particularly at sunrise and sunset)
  • Sleep under mosquito nets when they’re available or bring them with you
  • Try to keep windows and doors closed at night when sleeping to prevent mosquitoes from entering your room
  • Check with your doctor to see if you should be taking preventive medications prior to traveling. They’re readily available.

Q: Is there anything else I should do?

A: Yes, you need to be aware of ‘super malaria’ if you’re traveling into a region where it’s known to occur: Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam.  For the best updated information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or WHO websites for country-specific information on places you plan to travel.

Also, travelers going to malaria regions should consider picking up Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) and treatment medications from the local pharmacies when you arrive in country.  RDTs can be used by you to test yourself or a travel companion with a simple pin prick if you’re worried about malaria. They can also be used when returning home if you develop any symptoms for malaria: fever, headache, body aches, flu-like symptoms, nausea and vomiting.  Remember, it usually takes some time between being bitten by a mosquito carrying malaria until you develop signs and symptoms of the infection.  Picking up medications can also be helpful, as often times these treatment medications are not readily available in the United States.

Read More
national-physican-care-travel-checklist

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.

travel vaccines

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.

Read More
national-physican-care-travel

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. 

Read More
national-physican-care-vaccinations

3 Important Reasons to Get Travel Vaccinations

If you’re planning a vacation or extended holiday in an exotic location, you may need to get vaccinated to safeguard against any potential diseases. The medical professionals at HealthSmart Vaccines in Chantilly, VA, stress the importance of understanding the risks and addressing them proactively by scheduling for your travel vaccinations.

Understanding the Importance of Travel Vaccinations

travel vaccination

  • Risk of Disease: If you are traveling to an exotic destination, you may be at risk for a myriad of diseases your body is not prepared to fight. As a preventative measure, it’s important to receive the appropriate vaccinations. A vaccine contains the microorganism in its weakest form that is then injected into your body. Your immune system produces antibodies to fight off the organism in the event you come in contact with the disease again.
  • Returning Home: Some vaccines, such as that for yellow fever, are required before you can enter a country. This is due to the high risk of exposure for such diseases, in which they can be transmitted through a mosquito bite and passed along once the host is infected. Without these required vaccines, you may run into difficulties returning home.
  • Save Money on Healthcare: If you opt to go on your trip without getting the recommended vaccinations and contract an illness, you could end up spending a fortune on hospitalization and medical care. While vaccinations do cost money, they’re only the fraction of the cost of emergency healthcare.

When you leave for vacation you’ll be rest assured knowing you’re protected from diseases thanks to travel vaccines. Call (703) 961-0733 to set up an appointment at HealthSmart Vaccines or visit our website for more information about their comprehensive list of services.

Read More
healthsmartvaccines-travel-vaccines-adult-vaccines

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.

Read More
healthsmartvaccines-yellow-fever-adult-vaccines

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.

Save

Save

Read More
healthsmartvaccines-travel-insurance-adult-vaccines

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.

vaccines

  • 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.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More
healthsmartvaccines-travel-vaccines-zika

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.

zika

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.

Save

Save

Read More
healthsmartvaccines-travel-tips-travel-insurance

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.

Save

Save

Read More
healthsmartvaccines-travel-insurance-adult-vaccines

Vaccinations for Traveling Internationally: What You Need to Know

Are you going to be traveling out of the country? If so, it is important to take your health into account before you leave. Many foreign countries have a high prevalence of diseases that can be easily prevented with the right vaccinations. HealthSmart Vaccines of Chantilly, VA, administers common vaccines for illnesses like influenza, but they also carry many travel vaccines for those who venture outside of the U.S.

If you are traveling to any of the following places, it is highly recommended that you receive vaccinations for certain diseases:

travel vaccines

  • Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid Fever, and Meningococcal Meningitis
  • Central America: Hepatitis A and B and Typhoid Fever
  • China: Hepatitis A and B
  • Greenland: Hepatitis A and B
  • India: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, consider Japanese Encephalitis for travel to rural areas, planning an extended stay, and the time of year.
  • South America: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid Fever, and Yellow Fever
  • South Asia: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid Fever, Polio, and Japanese Encephalitis
  • South Pacific: Hepatitis A and B and Typhoid Fever

Don’t let this list scare you; traveling is a rewarding and exciting opportunity. But it’s very important to be prepared for any and all possibilities when it comes to your health. Millions of people every year travel the world and expose themselves to vaccine-preventable diseases. Those at the highest risk of contracting one of these diseases include adventure travelers, scuba divers, backcountry hikers, and people who stay in hostels. Do not make yourself susceptible to a preventable illness—get vaccinated today.

For more information on vaccine-preventable diseases, to make an appointment for vaccinations, or for information on travel insurance, call HealthSmart Vaccines in Chantilly, VA, at (703) 961-0733.

Save

Save

Read More