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All Posts Tagged: travel health

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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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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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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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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

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  • 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.

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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 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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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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Travel Tips

We want your trip to be the best yet. Here are some travel tips we’ve gathered over the years.

  • Get vaccinated at least ONE month prior to travel. Depending on the vaccine, it may take your immune system 2 or 3 weeks to achieve maximum immunity.
  • Carry first aid supplies and all medications in your carry on luggage, not your checked baggage.
  • Contact your health insurance plan and determine health coverage outside the United States. Most policies do not cover international travel.
  • Purchase travel and evacuation insurance. Medical evacuation may cost in excess of $5,000 and difficult to arrange. Evacuation insurers have the resourses to manage the process for you.
  • Be prepared to self manage travelers diarrhea by packing the medications to relieve this distressing event. Consult with your travel health professional or family physician for a recommended list of medications.
  • If traveling to a malaria zone, carry insect repellent, protective clothing and sleep under mosquitoe netting. Consultant with your travel health professional or physician about use of an antimalarial.
  • At this time malaria is NOT a vaccine preventable infection. Avoid contact with animals, especially in rural areas.

 

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