Vaccinations are highly recommended particularly for passengers heading to tropical countries. You can get vaccinated at a Provincial Sanitary-Epidemiological Station or other specialized medical institutions. You can find a list of such outposts on the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate website.
- Depending on the type of vaccination, it is best to take it 6 to 8 weeks before travelling, and no later than 4 weeks before your journey.
- Vaccination is particularly important if you plan to travel to rural areas, woodlands or places of insufficient sanitary conditions.
- Undergo all vaccinations that are considered obligatory by international or local law. Otherwise, you risk being stopped at the border of some countries.
- Vaccination regulations in different countries change frequently, so before you go, get up to date on all obligatory and recommended vaccinations.
Glossary of diseases
A virus disease spread by mosquitoes, common in the northern parts of South America and Africa. It may be lethal. While entering several countries where yellow fever vaccination is obligatory, you will need to present a special “yellow booklet” with an immunization certificate. In Poland, it is only possible to get yellow fever vaccination in authorized centers indicated by the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate.
Tetanus and diphtheria
Tetanus is an acute contagious disease – it may be even fatal – with severe cases. The tetanus bacteria often enter the body through an infected wound, that is why vaccination is recommended for individuals doing extreme sports and those setting off for terrain trips where it is easy to get injured. Diphtheria is also an acute contagious disease – its main symptoms include fever, vomiting, sore throat, and difficulties with swallowing.
A viral disease common in tropical countries and areas of insufficient sanitary conditions. Typical symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, weakness, drowsiness, headaches and lack of appetite. Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by exposure to fluids and secretions of a sick person, or by ingesting contaminated food or drink. Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for travelers all around the world.
Hepatitis B infection is generally transmitted by blood (transfusions, surgical instruments, syringes, tattooing, and acupuncture), and – to a lesser extent – through sexual contact. Vaccination is recommended for people at risk of such exposure, all around the world.
Typhoid is an acute infectious disease widespread in all exotic countries with a hot climate. Vaccination is highly recommended to travelers who are planning a longer stay in rural areas of tropical countries. To minimize the risk of infection, get vaccinated in advance and when abroad follow all sanitary regulations – wash fruit and vegetables before eating them and only drink water from reliable sources. People suffering from typhoid need to be treated in a hospital.
Poliomyelitis (Heine-Medin disease)
A highly infectious viral disease that mainly affects children. The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water. First symptoms include fever, stiff neck, fatigue, headache, and vomiting, but the disease may also cause damage to the nervous system and cause muscle paralysis. Vaccination is the most effective method of prevention.
The risk of contracting the disease occurs mainly in central Africa, but incidents also occur in Asia and South America. First symptoms include stiff neck, headache, and rash.
A malaria vaccine has not been developed yet – prophylactic medicines are commonly used instead. This mosquito-borne disease is widespread in over 100 countries of Southeast Asia, Africa and South America (tropical areas). Malaria symptoms resemble the symptoms of influenza – fever, muscle pain and chills. If these symptoms occur, seek medical advice immediately.
It is the most common disease transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical countries. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, joint pain (arthralgia), and in severe cases – bleeding. You can only prevent dengue by protecting yourself against insects.
It is a viral disease that causes lethal encephalitis. The risk of developing rabies is higher in tropical countries, but it can be prevented by getting vaccinated in advance.
If you are planning a journey to the tropics, it is of utmost importance to buy travel insurance! You will find it useful as the insurance should cover any medical expenses you might incur while abroad.