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Foreign Travel (cont.)

Recommendations for Travel to Specific Areas

Other immunizations and diseases: A visit to a doctor for travel-related vaccines is a good time to make sure your routine vaccines are up to date.

  • In the United States, tetanus boosters are recommended every 10 years.
  • People born after 1956 should make certain that their measles vaccines are up to date. Older people are usually assumed to have had measles as children.
  • Influenza occurs in the winter season in temperate areas and year-round in the tropics. Vaccination should be considered in travelers aged 50 years and older and in persons with chronic medical conditions.
  • Tuberculosis has a worldwide distribution. Long-term travelers may want to consider getting a skin test prior to departure. Travelers with negative skin tests should have a repeat test after returning. The BCG vaccine is of uncertain value and is neither recommended nor available in the United States.

The following are general recommendations. Specific recommendations depend on the travel itinerary and the medical history of the traveler.

Diseases to Consider When Traveling to Specific Areas

Disease Africa Asia and Middle East Eastern Europe South America Oceania
Travelers Diarrhea X X X X X
Hepatitis A X X X X X
Japanese Encephalitis -- X -- -- --
Malaria X X -- X X
Meningitis* X X -- -- --
Typhoid Fever X X X X X
Yellow Fever X -- -- X --

* Outbreaks may occur in other areas as well.

All travelers should follow food and water and insect precautions. These diseases may be limited to selected locations or countries within the above areas. This is not a comprehensive listing of all possible diseases. Please consult your physician to receive recommendations specific to your travel itinerary.

  • Africa: Travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations, such as tetanus. Hepatitis A vaccine and typhoid vaccine are recommended. The CDC recommends updating polio immunizations. Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for travel to infected areas and may be required before admission to some countries is allowed. Meningococcal meningitis occurs in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria exists in most countries. Consult the CDC Web site to determine if your travels will bring you into contact with malaria. Long-term travelers and health-care workers should consider hepatitis B vaccination. Rabies vaccine is recommended for long-term travelers and people, such as veterinarians, who will handle animals.
  • Asia and the Middle East: Travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations, such as tetanus. The hepatitis A vaccine and typhoid vaccine are recommended for travelers to developing countries and rural areas. The CDC recommends updating polio vaccinations. The meningococcal vaccine is recommended for pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. Proof of immunity may be required during the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages before entry to Saudi Arabia is permitted. A risk of malaria exists in selected areas. Long-term travelers and health-care workers should consider hepatitis B vaccination. The rabies vaccine is recommended for long-term travelers and people, such as veterinarians, who will handle animals. The Japanese encephalitis vaccine is recommended for travelers who will have prolonged exposure to rural areas in infected zones. Yellow fever does not occur in Asia, but travelers who have recently visited South America or Africa may be required to show proof of immunity.
  • Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: Travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations such as tetanus. The risk of hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and polio increases as political systems break down and sanitation declines. Malaria exists in limited areas not visited by most travelers.
  • Oceania: Travel to Australia and New Zealand does not require special immunizations or medications. Other countries may harbor tropical illnesses. Malaria occurs in Papua New Guinea and some surrounding islands. People who may travel under unsanitary conditions, those who plan to eat in local restaurants, and those who travel to developing countries should consider hepatitis A vaccination and typhoid vaccination. The CDC recommends updating polio vaccinations. Long-term travelers and health-care workers should consider hepatitis B vaccination. Rabies vaccine is recommended for long-term travelers and people, such as veterinarians, who will handle animals.
  • South America and Central America: Travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations, such as tetanus. The hepatitis A vaccine and typhoid vaccine should be considered for most travelers. The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for travelers to selected areas and may be required before admission to some countries is allowed. A risk of malaria exists in some countries. Long-term travelers and health-care workers should consider hepatitis B vaccination. The rabies vaccine is recommended for long-term travelers and people, such as veterinarians, who will handle animals.
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