Hepatitis A. is transmitted through food and water and is very common in areas where water and sanitation is less than optimal. It is the most frequent disease seen in travelers that is vaccine preventable. One injection will give short-term protection against the disease, a booster injection 6-12 months later will give at least 20 years protection against Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and body fluids. In 1990 the vaccine became part of the routine schedule for immunizations for New Zealand children. Adults who have not previously been immunized should consider the vaccine if they are travelling long-term or at risk in New Zealand from their lifestyle i.e. sports players, occupational risk. It is a series of three vaccines over the period of 1-6 months. For most people the initial series of vaccines will give lifelong immunity.
Typhoid is transmitted through contaminated food and drinks. The vaccine is recommended for long-term travelers, those who plan to spend time away from the major centres and who intend to eat in markets, street stalls and local cafes. This vaccine lasts for three years and should be given at least two weeks before travel.
Tetanus / Diphtheria should be given to travellers every ten years. Tetanus is caused by a bacteria found throughout the world in dust and dirt. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection passed from person to person by coughing and sneezes. It can cause problems with the heart and cent ral nervous system and is also found worldwide. It is a series of three vaccines over the period of 1-6 months. For most people the initial series of vaccines will give lifelong immunity.
Polio is transmitted by contaminated food or water and after infecting the throat or intestine can spread to the spinal cord causing nerve injury and paralysis. Vaccination is part of the routine childhood immunizations. For previously immunized adults, a single dose of the Polio vaccine will boost immunity for a lifetime.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) & Chickenpox are common childhood illnesses. If you have not had these diseases or vaccines then you should consider being vaccinated. Most New Zealanders over 35 years old have had these diseases in the past, but there are a small number of people under 35 who may not have had one of these illnesses.
Rabies is a fatal viral disease transmitted by the saliva of an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for all long-term travelers and those who will be travelling to remote areas. Once bitten by an animal, treatment for rabies should be sought immediately. The treatment consists of a blood product and five vaccines over the next month. In many countries the treatment can be hard to access. Alternatively you can have vaccines before travel; this consists of a series of three vaccines and should be started six weeks before leaving your home country.
Japanese Encephalitis is transmitted by a mosquito, and is more prevalent in rice growing areas where pig farming is common. The vaccine may be recommended for long-term travelers and expatriates in these areas. The vaccines are a series of three injections and should be started at least six weeks before leaving. A booster is required every three years if you are still at risk of the disease.
Meningitis is a bacterial disease that is transmitted from person to person through close contact via airborne droplets. Vaccination may be recommended for long-term travelers and those backpacking off the beaten path or in situations where crowded conditions exist. This vaccine lasts for three years.
Malaria is transmitted by a night time biting mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria , the disease can be prevented by taking tablets before entering the malaria area , while there and after leaving. Some malaria tablets need to be started four weeks before departure from home country. The choice of which malaria tablets depends on the individual, where they are travelling to and for how long. The doctor will discuss this with you during your consultation. cholera is transmitted by contaminated food and water, causing severe diarrhea. It is common in less developed countries and mainly affects malnourished people. Cholera is uncommon in tourists and vaccination is rarely advised.