Adoption Travel Health Precautions
Traveling to meet your child? Don't get sick!
Recommended Vaccines: Get your routine immunizations up to date, and do not overlook the poliovirus vaccine. Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines should be included. The prevalence of hepatitis B is listed as “intermediate” (as opposed to moderate or high) in Haiti, so you might want to consider vaccination against it.
Malaria: All areas are at risk, and chloroquine is the recommended antimalarial drug.
Other Issues: Haiti is in the Caribbean’s hurricane alley, so plan carefully if you travel between July and September. The US Department of State advises against nonessential travel to the island nation because of political instability and violence.
Recommended Vaccines: Be up to date on routine vaccines such as measles/mumps/rubella, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus, and varicella. Special emphasis on polio booster should be given when traveling to India, especially for adults who received a primary series with either inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) or oral polio vaccine (OPV). Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG) is recommended because of a high level of hepatitis A virus infection in India. Exposure can occur through food or water, even on “standard” tourist itineraries, according to the CDC. Typhoid vaccine is advised if you have never received it, especially if visiting smaller cities or rural areas.
Malaria: Risk in all areas throughout country except above 6,561 feet (2,000 m) in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, and Sikkim. This risk area also includes Delhi and Mumbai. Your doctor will likely advise you to take either atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing). Chloroquine is not an effective antimalarial drug in India and should not be taken.
Other Issues: Japanese encephalitis is of moderate concern, and a vaccine is recommended if you plan to visit rural farming areas or places where there has been a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
Recommended Vaccines: Routine boosters of diphtheria and tetanus, poliovirus, varicella (if needed), and MMR vaccines are recommended, along with typhoid, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B.
Malaria: Little to no risk; you should still try to avoid insect bites.
Other Issues: Hepatitis C and E and tuberculosis have been noted in the region, and increased cases of meningitis and encephalitis have been reported in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s major city. Tick-borne encephalitis is a problem in mountains and forests, especially April through June, so if you travel to those areas, take extra precautions to avoid tick bites.
Recommended Vaccines: Make sure you are up to date with MMR, DPT, polio, and varicella vaccines. Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG) is also highly recommended, and because hep B is highly prevalent in South Korea, a vaccine is advised. As with Guatemala, typhoid vaccination is also recommended if you will be traveling to rural areas or staying in accommodations where you might be exposed through food or water.
Malaria: Risk is limited to the demilitarized zone and to rural areas in the northern parts of Kyonggi and Kangwon provinces. Chloroquine is the recommended antimalarial drug.
Other Issues: Japanese encephalitis is of some concern, and a vaccine is recommended if you plan to visit rural farming areas or where there has been a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
Recommended Vaccines: Yellow fever vaccination is required. The CDC recommends that all travelers older than nine months be given a vaccine 10 days before travel. The CDC website can help you find an authorized yellow fever vaccination clinic in the United States. You should also, of course, get up to date MMR, DPT, poliovirus, and varicella vaccines. Here again, hepatitis A vaccination is strongly recommended, as is one for typhoid, particularly if you will be going to rural areas or staying in private (not commercial) accommodations. And hepatitis B is recommended because the prevalence of chronic HBV infection is high in Liberia.
Malaria: You will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing). Chloroquine is not effective in Liberia and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
Other Issues: Dengue fever is another mosquito-borne illness that is common to Africa and other tropical and subtropical places. There is no vaccine to prevent it, nor medicine to cure it; acetaminophen is the usual treatment. You can help ward it off by being vigilant in preventing mosquito bites via clothing, chemicals, mosquito netting, and staying indoors at dusk.
Recommended Vaccines: Boosters for tetanus and diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, and vaccines for typhoid and hepatitis A are recommended. Yellow fever is not a risk, but you will have to show proof of vaccination if you have come from a country with high incidence of yellow fever.
Malaria: All rural areas below 1,969 feet (600 m), except on Bohol Island, Borocay Island, Catanduanes Island, and Cebu Island present a risk. Subic Bay is a risk area. Take Lariam, Malarone, or doxycycline as a preventive measure. Protect yourself against insect bites too.
Other Issues: Japanese encephalitis vaccine is suggested if you will be staying for longer than a month in the Philippines, especially if you will be visiting rural areas or participating in outdoor activities after dusk.
Recommended Vaccines: Get boosters if you are not up to date with routine shots such as MMR, DPT, and poliovirus vaccine, plus typhoid and hepatitis A. Russia’s level of hepatitis B is noted as intermediate; the CDC recommends getting a vaccine if you’re previously unvaccinated and traveling to countries with intermediate to high levels of HBV transmission.
Malaria: Little to no risk; it is still smart to try to prevent insect bites.
Other Issues: If you are traveling to far eastern Russia, consider getting vaccinated for Japanese encephalitis. Tick-borne encephalitis commonly occurs in Russia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovenia. Tuberculosis, including drug-resistant TB, is found in parts of Russia. Eastern Europe has seen cases of avian influenza virus H5N1 (contagious bird flu); avoid direct contact with wild birds and avoid places such as poultry farms and markets where live birds are kept. The World Health Organization tracks outbreaks; check before you travel.
Recommended Vaccines: Routine boosters and adult vaccinations, not overlooking tetanus and diphtheria, and polio. Typhoid and hepatitis A and B vaccines are recommended as well.
Malaria: Little to no risk; try to avoid insect bites.
Other Issues: As in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe, tick-borne encephalitis (and other tick-borne diseases) and avian influenza can be hazards. Take precautions against insect bites and stay away from wild birds as well as large groups of birds at places such as poultry farms or markets. Cholera crops up occasionally although rarely infects travelers from developed countries. Check the current situation where you are going and ask your doctor if she would advise a vaccine.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN