China is a country full of marvelous architecture, a history dating back thousands of years and very rich culture and heritage. The Great Wall, of course, is a place everyone wishes to visit at least once in their lifetime. It is also full of natural wonders and is a great blend of preserved history and progressive architecture and culture. If you wish to experience the beauty that is China, here is some health guidelines that you are advised to follow. Travel vaccinations are one of them, since there are some diseases in China (and other parts of Asia) which you may not be vaccinated against already, since you hail from another country.
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CDC Travel Vaccines Checklist while Visiting China
What vaccines do I need for China?
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) recommend vaccination against the following diseases, before you travel to China:
|Polio||Contaminated food and water|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Mosquito Borne|
|Typhoid||Contaminated food and water|
|Hepatitis A||Contaminated food or water|
|Hepatitis B||Contaminated body fluids (through sexual contact with an infected person, needles, etc.)|
If you aren’t already vaccinated against these diseases, you are advised to contact your health care provider to start getting the vaccines. You must start getting the vaccine shots about a month or more before you start your trip to China, since they need some time to fully activate in your system.
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Malaria, of course, does not have a vaccine. You need to therefore arm yourself against mosquito bites and you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling.
There have also been cases of avian influenza or bird flu in China. Therefore, when you are travelling there, it would be advisable to avoid close contact with poultry. Do not consume uncooked poultry under any circumstance.
Another concern in China is Tuberculosis. While it is not particularly dangerous for travelers (unless they plan to stay there for extended periods of time), you must still be careful. If you feel like you may have been infected, you must get yourself checked the first thing after you get back.
Dengue and Chickungunya
There are also cases of dengue fever and chikungunya in the country, so you must consult with your health care provider about the relevant vaccinations regarding the area you are visiting.
China is a large country with various climates across different parts. Therefore, there is a chance of catching many mosquito borne diseases. You must always carry mosquito repellent and use netting when you sleep.
If you are allergic to any medication or ingredients in vaccines, you must let your doctor know. If you have had allergic reactions to vaccines earlier, you must let your doctor know prior to taking a vaccine shot.
Can I take vaccines if I’m pregnant?
Pregnant women are often advised against taking vaccines, since there is no way to know its effect on the baby. However, whether a certain vaccine is safe for a pregnant woman or not depends on the type of vaccine. Pregnant women should avoid live vaccines, since those could infect the baby with the disease. These live vaccines include vaccines for mumps, measles, rubella and chicken pox. Since these are not part of the list of vaccinations required for China, you need not worry about it.
The CDC has received no reports of harm to babies whose mothers have accidentally gotten live vaccines. But information is limited, so it’s still a risk that expectant moms shouldn’t take. If you need a live vaccine, you’ll want to get it at least one month before you get pregnant. An exception to avoidance of live vaccines is the yellow fever vaccine, which is quite safe for pregnant women to get. Again, before considering taking any vaccine shot, you must consult a doctor.
Some other vaccines, such as those for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, are safe and recommended for pregnant women who are at risk of getting these diseases, for example, if you’re travelling to China. There are two vaccines that you definitely should get during pregnancy: the Tdap (whooping cough) and the influenza vaccine (flu shot). These vaccines are recommended for pregnant women, even if they aren’t travelling.
Apart from these vaccines, make sure that you are up to date on all your regular vaccinations. You may need a booster shot of some, before going to China, such as a flu shot or a tetanus shot.
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There is a list of diseases that you are susceptible to, if you are travelling to or moving to China. Depending on the duration of your stay and where you’re travelling to, you must get your vaccination shots accordingly. When traveling with family, make sure you all are up to date on your regular vaccines. Children are normally given a smaller dose of vaccines than adults. Make sure to consult your health care provider for more information on this topic.