India Travel Health Advice : Pre-Trip Health Planning
Did you know that staying healthy on your trip to India starts before you even get on the plane? Here is an overview of things to consider, from a health perspective, as you prepare for your trip to India.
You should plan to set up an appointment with your health care provider four to six weeks before your trip. Preplanning is important, because some travel vaccines require several doses to become effective and you will want to allow ample time to get your doses before your trip.
Staying up to date on your routine vaccinations is good practice, even if you are not traveling. Routine vaccinations include chicken pox, polio, measles / mumps / rubella (MMR), diphtheria / pertussis / tetanus (DPT) and influenza. These vaccines are part of most of our childhood but did you know that boosters are required for adults.
Hepatitis A and B
The CDC recommends this vaccine for all unvaccinated people who will be traveling or working in areas with an intermediate or high level of Hepatitis A and B. India is identified as having a high level of Hepatitis A and an intermediate level of Hepatitis B, so these are two vaccines that you should consider if you have not already been vaccinated.
The CDC recommends a typhoid vaccine for those that are unvaccinated, especially if you will be traveling to smaller cities, villages and rural areas.
A rabies vaccine is recommended if you are going to be in rural areas and/or involved in activities like camping and hiking or will be doing an activity that could bring you in contact with dogs, squirrels, bats and other mammals.
Malaria is a real concern in India. The CDC notes that malaria is an issue in many areas of India, including major cities like Mumbai and Delhi. Areas at a higher elevation (over 2,000 meters) in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Sikkim are not at risk.
There are four primary ways to avoid getting sick with malaria. They include:
- Taking a prescription anti-malarial drug
- Using an insect repellent
Our recommendation : Natrapel 8 Hour deet free repellent 12 pack wipes
- Wearing protective clothing to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes
- Sleeping in areas with air conditioning, staying in well-screened quarters and/or using bed nets.
Your should work in conjunction with your healthcare provider to understand your risks, potential side effects of anti-malarial medication and protective measures you can take to avoid getting bit my mosquitoes.
Travelers to India are required to have certificate of vaccination for yellow fever if they are coming into the country by air or sea from an area with risk of yellow fever virus. If you will be traveling to other countries before arriving in India and those countries have a risk of yellow fever transmission, then you should consider a vaccination.
How are your Teeth?
If you have any concerns about dental issues right now, such as an annoying pain or cracked tooth, go ahead and get that taken care of before you go on your trip. It will be one less thing to worry about. Plus if you end up with a significant toothache or a dental emergency on your trip, navigating a foreign dental system is probably not how you want to spend your vacation time in India.
Please note the information above is a general guideline of things you will want to consider from a health perspective as you prepare for your trip to India. The information above should not be construed as medical advice. We encourage you to check in with your healthcare provider to determine your specific needs based upon your trip duration, your immunization history, and your current health status.
Source : Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)