Vaccinations crucial before international travel

By Cristina Rendon

Published 06/04 2012 06:45PM

Updated 06/04 2012 10:05PM

SALT LAKE (ABC 4 News) – Corbin Church is traveling overseas to the western side of Africa.

“We are going to Ghana,” Church said.

Church and a group of 45 people will leave from Salt Lake City to Ghana in the coming weeks for humanitarian work.

“I’m very excited, but a little apprehensive,” Church said. “The lack of comforts scares you a little bit.”

Church is getting vaccinated for yellow fever at University Hospital.

First time international travelers may overlook their health when planning a trip. If you don’t prepared you’re making yourself vulnerable to upper respiratory infections, skin rashes or serious diseases like Malaria or Hepatitis A.

Dr. DeVon Hale, Director of the Travel Medicine Clinic at the University of Utah, said water, food and mosquitoes are the most common ways illnesses spread.

“You can buy bottled water or soft drinks,” Hale said. “But it is harder to tell which foods are safe.”

Hale treats many vacationers who return to the United States that did not get proper vaccines.

“Some of them recognize they should have been more careful before they left,” Hale added.

Countries like Europe, New Zealand and Australia don't pose as much of a health risk as do tropical areas in Brazil or Africa.

Clothing protection spray, bug repellent and over the counter medicine can help deter illnesses too.

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