Posted by: mkirschmd | December 11, 2009

Do I Need Travel Vaccinations for China?

China is a magnet for tourists, students and businessmen.  The Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 showed the world that China is prominently on the world stage.  Millions from all over the world visit China every year.  It offers an unparallelled adventure in the eastern hemisphere. In China, ancient treasures are juxtaposed against modern skylines and architecture.  There are world class hotels and cuisine in the same country where ancient Chinese medicine is practiced.  It is a very safe destination with a low crime rate. 

China is no longer an enigma.  Americans are traveling there in increasing numbers.  Business ties between the countries are strengthening.  Many American high school students are studying the Chinese language.  Study abroad programs in China are flourishing.

Travelers to China face health risks.  Many of these illnesses can be prevented or effectively treated, if the traveler is prepared and has received essential travel vaccinations. Tourists, businessmen and travelers returning to China to visit friends and relatives (VFRs) should consult with a travel doctor several weeks before departure for travel vaccinations and travel safety tips. VFRs returning to their birth countries often wrongly believe that they are still immune to local diseases, but this is not the case. If they travel without travel vaccinations and other preventive health measures, they face unneccessary risks of preventable illnesses.  Expert travel medicine advice is available at Find Travel Clinic.

Travelers to China Need:

Routine Vaccinations

  • Seasonal Influenza (routine ‘flu shot’)
  • Chicken pox MMR (measles/mumps/rubella)
  • DPT (Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus)
  • Rotovirus (for children)
  • Poliomyelitis (if unvaccinated)

Required Vaccinations

  • Yellow fever (if you are traveling from certain countries)

Recommended Vaccinations

  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Rabies (depending upon your itinerary)
  • Japanese encephalitis (for rural travelers)
  • Poliomyelitis (adults may need a booster)

Some diseases present in China have no available travel vaccines,  such as malaria, dengue and schistosomiasis.  Your travel doctor can give you important tips on minimizing your risk of contracting these diseases.   

Your adventure in China is waiting.  Travel safe.

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