Traveling? Don?t Forget to Immunize
Whether traveling this Holiday season for work or play, there are a few travel basics you do not want to be without, and vaccines are one of those. Yes, vaccines. “Vaccines are just as important as a person’s passport,” says Mindy Schwarz, Public Health Nurse for Lincoln County. If you are traveling outside the United States there are certain vaccines that may be recommended or required for you to receive prior to leaving.
Which vaccinations you need depends on a number of factors including your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year you are traveling, your age, health status, and previous immunization history .
Most frequently needed vaccines the Lincoln County Health Department sees residents requesting are the Hepatitis A and B vaccine. They do offer both the Hepatitis A and B vaccines for adults, age 19 years and older. The cost is $35 per dose of Hepatitis A (two shots separated by 6 months), and $40 per dose for Hepatitis B (3 shots administered over 6 months). Clinic appointments are necessary. The Lincoln County Health Department will continue to offer the Hepatitis A and B vaccine to children that qualify for $5.
Hepatitis A is an illness that affects the liver. It is usually spread when the Hepatitis A virus enters the mouth from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces (or stool) of an infected person. Symptoms may include yellow skin or eyes, tiredness, stomachache, loss of appetite, nausea or abdominal pain.
Hepatitis B is also an illness that affects the liver. It is spread through infected blood and other body fluids. Symptoms may include yellow skin or eyes, tiredness, stomachache, loss of appetite, nausea, dark urine or joint pain. Hepatitis B can lead to ongoing liver illness, including liver cancer.
If you are planning to travel, please call your local health care provider or the Lincoln County Health Department to see which vaccines you may need.
For more information on vaccines and traveling, contact Mindy Schwarz at the Lincoln County Health Department 715-536-0307, or visit http://lincolncountyhealthdepartment.com/; you can also find them on Facebook.