Medical Information – Southern Africa
Be sure to discuss your upcoming travels with your physician to make sure you are physically fit and to receive medical advice specific to your health concerns. Below is some information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding vaccinations and malaria prevention.
No specific vaccinations are required for visiting Southern Africa. However, we strongly encourage you to consult with your physician, travel clinic and the CDC website for recommendations on health issues in each region.
To find a travel clinic for inoculations, go to http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentTravelClinics.aspx. See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals or if you might have extensive outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11–12 years who did not complete the series as infants.
If you are traveling to Southern Africa, the risk of contracting malaria exists, particularly during the rainy season. To better understand the risks of malaria, please review the CDC’s information at http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/.
We strongly recommend medications be taken before arrival in Africa and be continued for the stated period of time upon return. Please note it is possible to contract malaria despite taking malaria prophylaxis, so to further reduce your chances of exposure, we highly recommend you travel with insecticides and other mosquito repellent and apply liberally.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents and reapply often.
There is no risk for yellow fever in Southern Africa. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required when you are traveling from an endemic zone. For detail information, see http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2010/chapter-2/yellow-fever.aspx/a>.
Please review the CDC’s information about other health related issues for traveling to this region at: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationList.aspx and http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentVaccinations.aspx
Information obtained from www.cdc.gov. See website for more details.