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Summer is just around the corner and international travel may be on the agenda for some Humboldt County residents. While exposure to new places, foods and cultures can be exciting, it can also bring with it exposure to new illnesses.
“When traveling outside of the country it is important to know if the region you’ll be visiting has any vaccine preventable illnesses and if you’re properly vaccinated to protect against those diseases,” said Rachel Allen, RN, immunization coordinator for the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), adding that some vaccines should be received a few weeks or even a month in advance of potential exposure.
DHHS’s Public Health Clinic offers travel vaccines. Those traveling out of the country should contact the clinic to inquire about what vaccines are needed. “It is never too early to call and check in with us about what you may need,” Allen said.
In addition to administering necessary vaccines, for those countries where malaria is a problem, a nurse practitioner is available to prescribe the appropriate medication and talk to travelers about preventing mosquito bites.
Travelers headed to Latin America and the Caribbean, where the Zika virus is prevalent, should take precautions against mosquitoes as well. There is currently no vaccine available to prevent the virus. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus for long-lasting protection against mosquito bites. Repellents should always be used as directed by the manufacturer. For more recommendations, visit the CDPH website at www.cdph.ca.gov.
Vaccine prices are subject to change. Payment is due at the time of service. The clinic accepts cash, checks and credit cards.
For more information or to make an appointment, call the Public Health Clinic at 707-268-2108. The clinic is located at 529 I St. in Eureka.
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