South America 2019-10-18T19:40:07-05:00

Traveling to SOUTH AMERICA?

Preventable disease “highlights”:

Common vaccine-preventable diseases are present in South America (See below). Zika and Dengue, both carried by mosquitoes, also pose major health issues. Although a new vaccination to prevent Dengue exists, it is only helpful to people who both live in countries with Dengue and have had the disease in the past. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine that effectively prevents Zika. This disease is still a major issue for pregnant travelers, despite a possible recent worldwide decline in cases. Insect avoidance goes a long way to help prevent both diseases.

Specific Vaccinations available in the US for trips to South America:

Cholera:

(from contaminated food or water) The vaccine is recommended for specific regions of a few South American countries. Generally, it is advisable if you are visiting areas with sanitation issues, spending an extended time camping/hiking, working in healthcare-related situations, or traveling to an area with an outbreak.

Hepatitis A:

(from contaminated food or water) The vaccine is recommended for all travelers to South America.

Hepatitis B:

(from contaminated bodily fluids or medical instruments) The vaccine is recommended for those who might be exposed to blood or other body fluids while working in healthcare-related environments or through unprotected intimate contact. The vaccine will also provide protection if you are injured and undergo treatment in a medical facility in South America.

Rabies:

(from bites, scratches, or saliva exposure involving infected animals) The vaccine is recommended if you work with animals or are spending significant amounts of time outdoors where you may be exposed to animals. This time can include not only hiking, camping, caving, etc., but traveling through or visiting cities/town/villages with high numbers of unvaccinated animals. Children are at even higher risk for rabies than adults.

Typhoid:

(from contaminated food or water) The vaccine is recommended for all travelers to South America.

Yellow Fever:

(from infected mosquitos) The vaccine is recommended for some countries in South America where there is a risk of Yellow Fever. The overall risk to travelers in South American countries with Yellow Fever is somewhat lower than the risk in African countries (unless there is an outbreak of the disease). It is REQUIRED for entrance into a few South American nations. More commonly, it is REQUIRED when traveling from a country that has Yellow Fever disease to a country that does not (for instance, traveling from Brazil to other South American countries).

Malaria medication, traveler’s diarrhea treatment, altitude medication, and other prescriptions may also be indicated, depending upon your itinerary.

Country-specific vaccine recommendations for South America can be found on the CDC Website (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). We provide these vaccines during your appointment at our Vaccination Clinic.

Always make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations (Adult Routine Vaccinations). Your vaccination history should be reviewed and updated by anyone you see for travel shots.

Insect avoidance, food and water precautions, avoiding direct contact with animals, and other safety measures can help protect against diseases where no vaccine or medication exists. Two such major diseases, as mentioned above, are Zika and Dengue.

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