Stay Healthy During Your Trip to Africa With the Right Vaccines

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It sounds so exciting. A safari in Africa … rafting down the Nile … shopping in Nairobi. But amid the excitement of trip preparations, be sure to think about taking the necessary precautions to stay healthy and well while traveling.

“Many of our patients who visit Africa are afraid of getting sick,” says Keith Armitage, MD, Medical Director of University Hospitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine.

“With appropriate medical precautions -- which includes vaccinations as well as prevention against malaria and illness from food and water -- travel to Africa is relatively safe and remarkably enjoyable,” he says.

Tips for Travel to Africa

All travelers to Africa require the hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine, and many destinations require the yellow fever vaccine.

Equally important is to protect against mosquitoes using insect repellent with DEET.

In addition, travelers should only drink beverages that are bottled and only eat fruits and vegetables that are cooked.

And, of course, wearing a seat belt while in a motor vehicle, drinking plenty of water, and protecting yourself against the sun also is critical.

Where to Get the Yellow Fever Vaccine

Certain destinations within Africa, such as Ghana, require proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter.

Yellow fever vaccination is often required for entry to other countries in Africa and other continents once you have been in an African country listed as having yellow fever, including India, Brazil, Kenya, Peru, and Tanzania.

Travel to South Africa does not require the vaccine.

Limited vaccine supply of the yellow fever vaccine throughout the United States requires advanced planning. It is recommended the vaccine be given 4-6 weeks before your trip.

Related links

The Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine is the only non-profit medical provider in Northeast Ohio to offer the yellow fever vaccine. Learn more.

To schedule a consultation with the Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine at one of our three convenient locations, call 216-844-8500.

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