Are you Traveling to Western Europe?

Travel vaccines for Western EuropeWhen you travel out of the continent, it's wise to expect the unexpected. Being far away from home means there is a risk of contracting disease. The physicians at Travel Clinics of America can help you get the appropriate travel shots and teach you about diseases common at your specific destination.


Recommendations for travel

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Travel ClinicReview travel immunizations in the table below which may be recommended for your travel to Eastern Europe.

Disease

Description

Vaccination

Avian Influenza

Avian influenza H5N1, or bird flu, uncommonly infects humans. Outbreaks have occurred throughout the world including Europe. While the disease is relatively rare in humans, mortality rates are high. It is primarily a virus disease that attacks birds and poultry. There is no licensed vaccine available against bird flu in the United States, but vaccines are available in Europe and Canada. The key, therefore, is prevention. Travelers should avoid contact with live poultry and make sure that poultry dishes are thoroughly cooked. Surfaces in contact with raw poultry need to be thoroughly cleaned. If you are in the vicinity of wild or domestic birds, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer.
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Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A, transmitted through contaminated food and water, is the most common vaccine-preventable disease. Vaccination against Hepatitis A virtually eliminates the risk of the disease. It is given as a series of 2 shots, 6 months apart.
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Hepatitis A vaccine

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B, a serious viral illness, is transmitted through blood products, contaminated medical instruments (such as during an emergency surgery) and unprotected sex. Some travelers, such as adventure travelers, Peace Corps volunteers, missionaries, and military personnel, may be at increased risk for infection. Generally given over 6 months, the Hepatitis vaccine also may be given on an accelerated schedule over 21 days.
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Hepatitis B vaccine

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection that occurs in several eastern European countries during warmer seasons. Travelers are advised to take tick precautions.
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Measles

Measles outbreaks have occurred in Western Europe. Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is spread through coughing and sneezing and from contaminated surfaces. Infected individuals can spread the disease to others before they have become ill. Typical symptoms include fever, rash runny nose and cough. Most measles patients fully recover, but a minority can have permanent damage to their hearing and brain function. There is no treatment for measles but there is an extremely safe and effective vaccine. While measles is uncommon in the United States because of vaccination, 10 million cases occur worldwide including in the developed world. Talk with your travel doctor before departure about measles and other routine vaccinations.
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Measles vaccine

Polio

Polio is spread from person to person -- and through contaminated food and water. Travelers to India, Pakistan and other countries in Europe may be advised to get a polio booster.
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Polio vaccine

Tick-borne Encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis (TCE) has been reported in Western Europe, and is a potentially serious illness that can affect the central nervous system. Mild cases can occur and not be recognized as TCE as these illnesses will appear as mild viral illnesses. Humans contract the disease after they are bitten by a tick infected with the TCE virus. Symptoms occur 1-2 weeks later and may include fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting. After recovery, a minority of individuals develop a more serious phase with neurological involvement including headache, stiff neck and mental changes. Permanent damage can result.

There is no vaccine available in the United States to prevent TCE and no treatment. The strategy is to take necessary precautions to avoid tick bites and to properly remove any ticks that are found attached to the skin. Grab the tick gently as close to your skin as possible with flat-tipped tweezers. Don’t crush the tick, but pull it straight out slowly. After you remove it, apply an antiseptic to the bite area and wash your hands with soap and water.  A tick that is removed within 24 hours is unlikely to transmit any germs to you.
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Rabies

Rabies has been reported in Western Europe. This disease is characteristically transmitted by a bite or scratch from infected animals. Travelers to rural areas for extended periods of time, children, and those in close contact with animals are at a higher risk for rabies and should discuss receiving a prophylactic anti-rabies vaccination with a travel physician. This vaccination involves a series of three injections, given over 3-4 weeks.
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Rabies vaccine

Yellow Fever

Albania requires yellow fever vaccine for travelers coming from countries where yellow fever is present.
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Yellow Fever vaccine


Additional considerations

  • Travelers' Diarrhea can ruin a trip. Your Travel Clinics of America physician can prescribe an antibiotic self-treatment for travelers' diarrhea, and discuss whether taking prophylactic medications is advisable for you.

Key Points

Travel Clinic Your specific itinerary dictates which additional vaccines you need to protect your health during your trip.
Travel Clinic As soon as you know that you are traveling in Eastern Europe — whether for business or pleasure - contact Travel Clinics of America. We will make sure that you have the vaccination protection and advice you need.

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