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Easy travel is one of the highlights of living in Singapore, from tropical beaches to bustling cities there is a holiday for everyone. Travel vaccines are vital to staying healthy, IMC offers travel consultations and here is a handy guide about what you and your family might need before the trip…

Hepatitis A+B: these are viral infections transmitted through contaminated food or water and bodily fluids respectively. Vaccination provides long term immunity so check what you’ve had. If you’re unsure you can have a simple blood test to find out.

Influenza: Seasonal flu can strike anywhere, and is the last thing you want on your trip! Getting the vaccine before you travel minimizes your risk of falling ill, disrupting your plans. There are two flu vaccines each year – for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere flu seasons. Southern hemisphere vaccines are available now at IMC.

Yellow Fever: a mosquito-borne virus in parts of Africa and South America. Some countries mandate a vaccine pass to enter and Singapore may require it on return. It must be taken at least 10 days before arrival. Check the ICA website (ica.gov.sg/enter-transit-depart/entering-singapore/yellow-fever-vaccination-certificate) to see if your destination is included.

Typhoid: caused by contaminated food and water, typhoid remains a risk in many popular destinations. Vaccination lasts three years so is an important one to update regularly.

Tetanus and diphtheria: Tetanus, a bacterial infection contracted through wounds, and diphtheria, a bacterial respiratory infection, can both pose risks during travel. Booster doses of the combined Tdap vaccine last 10 years and ensure ongoing protection.

Rabies (from animal bites and scratches) and Japanese encephalitis (from mosquito bites in rural Asian areas) vaccines may be considered for trips to areas with increased animal and insect exposure.

Forgotten what vaccines you’ve had or lost the paperwork? Don’t panic, we can work it out at a travel consult and update any new vaccines electronically for the future.

What else do you need to consider?

Mosquito avoidance: Protect yourself from illnesses like dengue and malaria by using a DEET insect repellent, wearing protective clothing and using nets. Mosquitos like stagnant water, so try to avoid these areas in the evenings or at night.

Water hygiene: Stay vigilant to prevent gastrointestinal illnesses. Drink bottled or boiled water and if you’re going to try street food make sure it is well cooked and from a clean environment!

Antimalarials: If you’re traveling to malaria prone areas, consult with a doctor about taking antimalarial medication. Look up if your destination has malaria at cdc.gov/malaria/about/distribution.html

Check FitForTravel (https://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk) for up to date information or come into IMC for a travel consultation. We can work out what you need so you can enjoy your trip!

Dr Jessica Rankine is based at IMC Camden

1 Orchard Blvd #14-01
Camden Medical Centre
Singapore 248649

To book a travel consult, visit: www.imc-healthcare.com or call: +65 6733 4440

Learn more about Dr Jessica Rankine at Dr Jessica Rankine | IMC Medical Clinic (imc-healthcare.com)