Through the vigilant efforts of private citizens, public health officials, and the government, many diseases have become rare in the United States with the aid of vaccines. However, the fact that certain diseases are no longer prevalent in the U.S. does not mean these diseases have also become rare elsewhere.
According to a report from Infectious Disease News, many Americans traveling to Asia do not opt to get vaccinated for a number of dangerous diseases:
“Clinicians should consider a multi-trip assessment (cumulative risk concept) when advising on rabies and Japanese encephalitis vaccination for travelers to Asia, and improve counseling on preventing animal bites,” study researcher Xaviour J. Walker, MD, of Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., told Infectious Disease News.
Walker and colleagues in the Boston Area Travel Medicine Network collected demographic and travel information on 15,317 patients who had received pre-travel consultations, including previous vaccinations, reasons for travel, trip duration and the type of immunization advice they had received.
Completed vaccinations against rabies (17%) and Japanese encephalitis (24%) were most common among those traveling for the purposes of education, research, missionary or volunteer work. Patients visiting family and friends had the lowest completion rate for rabies (2%) and Japanese encephalitis (5%).
It is indefensible how many U.S. citizens traveling to Asia do not get vaccinated for Japanese encephalitis and rabies, which are both very dangerous diseases. Residents of the Seattle-Tacoma area are strongly advised to visit a reputable Tacoma walk-in clinic to get immunization shots before they go on their trips. Without proper vaccinations, travelers put themselves at risk of contracting these diseases and introducing them to the U.S. population upon returning to the country.
While these two are important, vaccinations for these diseases are not the only ones international travelers should get. They should also get vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella; Hepatitis A and B; polio; and meningococcal meningitis, among other common diseases.
Take note that not all the travel vaccines a walk-in or urgent care clinic offers are necessary. With that in mind, it is for the best that you visit a Tacoma urgent care center, such as the one run by U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, to consult a doctor on the kind of immunization you should get. After discussing where you will go and how long your trip will be, your doctor can then advise which vaccines are necessary.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Japanese encephalitis, rabies vaccination low among travelers to Asia, Infectious Disease News, November 19, 2013)