Do you have plans to travel overseas this summer? You’re undoubtedly excited to study abroad, visit friends or family, or aid in disaster recovery. In addition to securing a passport and making travel arrangements, you must also get vaccinated. Most life-threatening communicable diseases have effective vaccines that can protect your health during your travels. Consider the most common travel vaccinations that American tourists should receive.
All travelers should be up-to-date with routine vaccines before traveling. Diseases such as polio, measles, tetanus and rubella are all but extinct in the United States, but they are still common in other countries. For your safety, make sure anyone traveling abroad in your family has received all the routine vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Common Travel Vaccines
The specific vaccinations you seek will depend on where you’re headed. In addition to routine vaccines, be sure to protect yourself against the following diseases, especially if you’re traveling to Africa, Latin America or Asia:
- Hepatitis A: Contaminated food or water can carry hepatitis A, so this vaccine is recommended for travelers headed to rural communities or unsanitary places.
- Typhoid: This disease affects over 12 million people per year. It’s also transmitted through contaminated food or water, so protect yourself with a typhoid vaccine.
- Yellow fever: South America and Africa are the most likely places to contract yellow fever, which is spread through mosquito bites. Fortunately, vaccines are available, which provide up to 10 years of protection.
- Malaria: This disease is also transmitted through mosquito bites. While there’s no malaria vaccine, you can ask your doctor for prescription medication to protect you during your trip.
Less Common Travel Vaccines
While not recommended for all travelers or destinations, you should ask your doctor if you need any additional travel vaccines to protect you on your trip. These may include:
- Cholera: The CDC recommends a cholera vaccine for adults traveling to places with active cholera transmission, including India, Bangladesh, Yemen, Haiti and several African countries.
- Hepatitis B: You may need a hepatitis B vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a piercing or tattoo, or have medical procedures performed during your travels.
- Rabies: Get a rabies vaccine if you expect to have an elevated risk for animal bites on your trip. Such groups include campers and people working with animals.
- Meningitis: A meningitis vaccination is recommended if you’re planning to visit sub-Saharan Africa (known as the “meningitis belt”) between December and June when the disease is most common.
Check the CDC
The CDC keeps travelers up-to-date with current travel health notices, as well as travel vaccination recommendations by region. Check these resources before going on your trip to ensure you get the right travel vaccinations to safeguard your health.
The weather is warming up, and that means it’s time to lounge on the beach or by the pool! Before you do, you might want to snag a great deal on a new swimsuit that accentuates your body in all the right ways. This means trying on new swimwear to find the perfect look.
Swimsuit shopping might have you wondering – “Can I get an STD from trying on swimsuits?” Not all sexually transmitted diseases can be spread to a new host this way – after all, the bacteria and viruses that cause many types of STDs don’t survive for long outside the human body and require direct contact to transfer from person to person.
However, some STDs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are caused by protozoa, lice, bacteria and viruses that can survive on new swimsuits. This allows infections to transmit passively from one host to another.
It’s a scary thought, but you can protect yourself by learning more about STDs and swimsuits.
Examples of STIs Sometimes Found on Swimsuits
The following STIs can spread passively by infecting swimsuit bottoms:
- Trichomoniasis , or trich, is caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis protozoan parasite, which can live outside the body for several hours.
- Pubic lice , or crabs, can spread if an infected person shares towels, bed sheets or swimsuits.
- Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that spreads through direct contact and indirect contact with clothing an infected person has worn.
- Bacterial vaginosis , or BV, is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina. BV loves synthetic swimsuit fibers and can be difficult to wash out.
- Urinary tract infections are caused when E. coli or other bacteria from the anal region enter the urethra.
While uncommon, it’s also possible to transmit more serious STDs, including Hepatitis A, B and C, Chlamydia, HPV and even HIV in extremely rare cases.
Prevent STD Infection While Trying on Swimsuits
Protect yourself in the dressing room and once you get home by following these tips:
- Don’t trust the hygienic liner – keep your underwear on while trying new swimsuits!
- Wash your hands after trying on swimsuits.
- After making your purchase, wash the swimsuit before wearing it to the pool.
- Keep whatever you’ve got to yourself – don’t return used swimwear.
STD Testing in Atlanta, GA
The truth is there’s a slight chance of contracting an STD while trying on swimsuits, but only if you fail to follow the appropriate precautions. Just remember, this is merely one example of how STDs can be transmitted without having sex.
If you or your partner is concerned you may have an STD, visit Perimeter Clinic for help. We offer STD testing in a clean, confidential setting. The entire process takes just 15 to 20 minutes, and most results are available within one to two days. To make an appointment and protect your health, please contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 today.
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