Get Healthy Carson City: Travel smart, travel vaccinated

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Are you traveling out of the United States this year? Visiting another country can be a fun experience, but it can also put you at risk for diseases not commonly found in the United States. Public health in this country has provided residents with protection from many diseases through vaccinations, water sanitation standards, and safe food handling processes. These same protections aren’t common in every country and can put travelers at risk. No matter where you’re planning to travel to this year, protect your health by getting the recommended vaccines to lower your chances of getting and spreading disease.

It’s important to plan ahead to get your travel vaccines. When you begin to plan your trip, talk with your healthcare provider about the shots you may need to get. Most vaccines must be given several months before your trip in order for your body to build up full protection against a disease. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the vaccines that are recommended and the ones that are required based on your travel plans, your medical history, planned activities, and other health concerns. A required vaccine is one that must be documented for travelers to enter a country based on that country’s government laws. Recommended vaccines are those the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend to protect the health of travelers.

When you talk to your healthcare provider, ask about routine vaccinations. Routine vaccines are recommended for everyone in the United States based on their age, health, and other risks. It’s important to make sure you’re up to date on all routine vaccines before you travel.

If traveling to a country with health risks that are like the risks in the United States, you may be able to see your family doctor or nurse for your travel vaccines. If you’re visiting multiple countries, countries that have many health risks, or if you have a medical condition, it’s best to see a doctor who focuses on travel-related health. It’s also good to check if the yellow fever vaccine is recommended or required for the country you’re planning to visit. Only certain providers can offer this vaccine and it must be given at least 10 days before you leave for your trip. Be prepared that you may have to travel out of the Northern Nevada area for this vaccine.

To learn more about where to find travel vaccines, visit For information on staying healthy while traveling to other countries, visit

Carson City Health and Human Services wants everyone to take steps to be safe while traveling to other countries. For information about services and programs available to you through Carson City Health and Human Services, visit our website at, follow us on Facebook, or call us at 775-887-2190. You can also find us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.


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