By LISA MAYOH
I hate needles. Like seriously hate needles. Yes, I am (sadly) the 31-year-old mother-of-two who still brings her mum to the doctor when it’s blood test time.
Now I may be terrified, but there are two things that will get me running for those big spikey torture sticks quicker than you can say typhoid – and that’s the thought of drug-free childbirth, and the thought of getting sick while overseas.
Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Vaccine Hub. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Many Australian families are currently choosing parts of Asia as their holiday destination of choice – and why not? It’s cheap to get to, not too far away, has scenery as beautiful as its people and the food is delicious.
But what many Australians don’t know is that travelling to Asia carries risks – infectious, contagious and potentially deadly diseases that we don’t have down under.
So here’s your clever cheat sheet on vaccinations to take when traveling to Asia.
When you think of exotic holidays, it’s likely that your mind automatically falls asleep under a leafy palm tree. But it’s important to know that there are still lots of things that can go wrong.
Vaccinations are vital if you want to avoid contracting a disease that can make you or someone in your family extremely sick. And not only can those diseases leave you very ill, they can spread like wildfire and have unfortunate effects back home.
Recently, a New Zealand youngster contracted Hepatitis A in Asia and unknowingly brought it back. To date, 28 people have been infected (and that number is still rising) but the outbreak could have been prevented if the child had been vaccinated prior to taking the trip.
These standard vaccinations to take when traveling to Asia will protect you against potentially deadly viruses. Consider them your investment in a hassle-free holiday.
What am I protecting myself and my children against?
Dr Deborah Mills, spokesperson for the national Travel Medicine Alliance, says the main vaccine preventable diseases to be protected from in Asia are Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral disease of the liver, transmitted through contaminated food or water. It is one of the most common vaccine preventable diseases that occur in travellers in less developed areas of the world, like Asia.
Typhoid Fever is caused by a bacteria found in contaminated food and water, and vaccination is recommended for areas where sanitation and personal hygiene may be poor, like Bali and Thailand.
Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito borne viral disease prevalent in (but not limited to) rural areas of Asia that can lead to serious brain infection in humans.
Rabies is a deadly viral infection of the brain transmitted to humans. Dogs are the main carriers, but monkeys, cats and bats also carry it, so avoid all contact with animals while overseas.
Dr Deb suggests seeing a travel vaccine specialist about six weeks before your trip, to ensure adequate protection.