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Summer is officially here. If your plans include visiting another country, take steps to protect yourself from potential illness, and get your travel vaccines today.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a travel advisory recommending that all eligible international travelers receive the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, regardless of destination.
“Measles is still common in some parts of the world, and most measles cases seen in the U.S. result from international travel,” said Rachel Allen, RN, immunization coordinator for the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). “Travelers should check their immunization records to be sure they have the recommended doses of MMR vaccine prior to their departure.”
DHHS’s Public Health Clinic offers travel vaccines, including MMR. “It’s never too early to start planning for your travel immunization needs. Once you have an itinerary, make an appointment at the clinic or with your health care provider to discuss any recommended vaccines,” Allen said, adding that some vaccines should be received a few weeks or up to a month before potential exposure.
For those traveling to areas where malaria is present, the clinic also staffs a nurse practitioner to prescribe the appropriate medication and talk to travelers about preventing mosquito bites.
Travelers heading to Latin and Central America where the Zika virus is more common should take precautions to avoid bug bites. The CDC recommends using EPA-registered insect repellants like DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to protect against mosquito bites. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and using mosquito netting can also help prevent exposure. Zika cannot be prevented with medication or vaccinations.
Check the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov for more traveler safety recommendations and to check current travel advisories for your intended destination.
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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