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Travel Vaccinations

Travelling abroad can put you at risk of contracting a disease that may not be common in Canada. Here is a list of vaccine-preventable diseases that may pose a risk to international travellers. Talk to your doctor, nurse or travel health clinic about your travel vaccinations. To learn more about staying healthy while you travel, click here.
Travel Map - coming soon!

Yellow fever

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, chills, backache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin and eyes and the fear of light. If the infection progresses, it can cause kidney failure and bleeding under the skin, eyes, mouth, ears or internal organs.

How is it spread?

The virus is found regularly in tropical regions of Africa and South America; it spreads by mosquito bites.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

YF Live, attenuated, yellow fever vaccine

Varicella

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include a slight fever, headaches, a runny nose, fluid filled blisters and a general ill feeling.

How is it spread?

The virus is spread by direct contact with fluid in the lesions or through the airborne spread from the respiratory tract of an infected person.

Who is at risk?

Most infections, and most of the severe cases, occur in children under the age of 12 who are unvaccinated. However, risk of severe varicella infection increases with age. Adults, particularly pregnant women, are at increased risk of severe disease. Children with impaired immunity are at risk of severe varicella and death.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

Var Live, attenuated, univalent virus vaccine

MMRV Live, attenuated, combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine

Typhoid fever

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of typhoid can take 1-to-3 weeks to appear after infection and can include fever, headache, a loss of appetite, discomfort, dry cough and constipation. If left untreated, you may experience inflammation in you liver and spleen, rashes, a slow heart rate and death.

How is it spread?

Typhoid is found in human stool and urine; it spreads where there is poor sanitation. You can become infected with typhoid by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

Typh-I Parenteral, capsular polysaccharide vaccines

Typh-O Oral, live attenuated vaccines

Combined vaccine Polysaccharide typhoid and inactivated hepatitis A vaccine

Type B viral hepatitis

What are the symptoms?

Acute hepatitis B can cause fever, tiredness, loss of appetite and yellowing of the skin and eyes. It can also lead to chronic hepatitis B. Some people do not develop symptoms of illness.

Chronic hepatitis B can cause serious liver disease such as scaring of the liver (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.

How is it spread?

Hepatitis B is spread person-to-person, by coming in contact with blood and bodily fluids that are infected with the disease. Approximately half of infected individuals do not know that they are infected (they are considered asymptomatic). These individuals become chronic carriers of the virus; they remain contagious for as long as the virus remains in their liver. The virus is present in the blood, vaginal secretions, semen and saliva of contagious individuals and spreads most commonly through sexual contact and shared needles. Infected individuals will most likely also experience fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and yellow skin and eyes.

Who is at high risk of infection?

Persons at increased risk of hepatitis B infection include:

  • People who live with a person who has hepatitis B virus infection
  • Health care or public safety workers who are regularly exposed to blood or bodily fluids
  • Individuals with bleeding disorders that require transfusions
  • Individuals on kidney dialysis
  • Immigrants from countries where hepatitis B is common
  • People who use street drugs
  • Individuals with a sexually transmitted disease
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Individuals who work with people with developmental disabilities
  • Individuals with chronic liver disease
  • Individuals who work or live in a correctional facility

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliomyelitis and conjugated Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine.

HAHB Combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine

For adults:

HB Recombinant hepatitis B vaccines

HAHB Combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine

Type A viral hepatitis

What are the symptoms?

People infected with hepatitis A may not develop any symptoms; others can develop fever, fatigue, anorexia due to a loss in appetite, nausea, stomach pain, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (known as jaundice).

How is it spread?

Hepatitis A can be spread when stool contaminated by the virus comes in contact with the mouth usually through contaminated water or from unwashed hands. It can also be spread through food that has been prepared with contaminated water.

Who is at risk?

Persons at increased risk of hepatitis A infection include:

  • Travellers to countries where hepatitis A is endemic
  • Close contacts of an acute hepatitis A case
  • Those who live in correctional facilities and those for developmentally challenged individuals
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Street drug users
  • Close contacts of children adopted from HA endemic countries
  • Those who live in some Aboriginal communities

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

HA Inactivated hepatitis A vaccines

HAHB Combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine

For adults:

HA Inactivated hepatitis A vaccines

HA-Typh-I Combined polysaccharide typhoid and inactivated hepatitis A vaccine

HAHB Combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine

Tuberculosis

How is it spread?

TB can be easily spread through close contact, with an infected person who coughs and sneezes.

What are the symptoms?

TB causes fever, chest pain, tiredness, a loss of appetite, chills, night sweats, and a bad cough that can result in coughing up blood or sputum.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) Live, attenuated vaccine

Tetanus

What are the symptoms?

The toxin that is released into the body affects the nervous system, causing painful muscle spasms. The first symptom is usually a spasm of the jaw muscles (“lockjaw”) followed by painful spasms of muscles in the face, neck, chest, abdomen, arms and legs.

How is it spread?

Most people think they can get tetanus from stepping on a rusty nail. While this is true, you can get tetanus just as easily from a small scrape or cut. You can get tetanus from any object that breaks open your skin while working in the garden or doing repairs to your home, or even an animal bite.

Who is at risk?

People of all ages can be affected by tetanus.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

DTaP-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis and Haemophilus influenza type b conjugate vaccine

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliomyelitis and conjugated Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine.

DTaP-IPV Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

For adults:

Tdap Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine

Tdap-IPV Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

Td Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid vaccine

Td-IPV Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid combined and inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

Rubella

What are the symptoms?

Some people who are infected with rubella don’t show any symptoms. Those who do can have a low fever, cold-like symptoms, a pink or red rash, achy joint and slightly swollen glands.

How is it spread?

Rubella is spread through coughing and sneezing. You can also become infected by coming in close contact with someone who is sick with rubella.

Who is at risk?

People of any age who have not been vaccinated or have not had rubella disease are at risk of being infected.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

MMR Live, attenuated, combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine

MMRV Live, attenuated, combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine

Rabies

What are the symptoms?

You may be infected for 20 to 60 days before your symptoms appear. Symptoms can include confusion, irritation, rage, hallucinations, a fear of water, paralysis and death from breathing failure.

How is it spread?

The disease is spread when you have broken skin that comes in close contact with the saliva of infected animals. Broken skin can include bites, scratches, licks on cut skin or contact of the virus with your eyes, nose or mouth. 

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

HDCV Inactivated rabies vaccine

PCECV Inactivated rabies vaccine

Poliomyelitis

What are the symptoms?

Some people who are infected with polio don’t show any symptoms. Others have fever, nausea, vomiting, headaches and tiredness. As the disease progresses, you may have severe muscle pain and stiffness in your neck and back. This illness can also leave you paralyzed.

How is it spread?

Polio is spread through the fecal oral route. You can also become infected by coming in contact with the stool of a person who is carrying polio.

Who is at risk?

Polio infections are more common in children who are under five years of age; however, any person who is not immune to poliovirus can become infected.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

DTaP-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis and Haemophilus influenza type b conjugate vaccine

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliomyelitis and conjugated Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine.

DTaP-IPV Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

For adults:

Tdap-IPV Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

Td-IPV Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

IPV Inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

Pneumococcal disease

What are the symptoms?

People with this disease may have a fever, be irritable and may lose their appetite. Those who have meningitis and bacteremia may have headaches, vomiting and a stiff neck. Those with pneumonia may cough up thick mucus and have difficulty in breathing. Those with otitis media will have severe ear pain.

How is it spread?

The bacteria are spread from an infected person to another by close contact such as kissing, coughing and sneezing or sharing items such as cigarettes, toys and musical instruments.

Who is at risk?

Children: those under the age of 2; with cochlear implants; who are Aboriginal; who attend child care centers; with a chronic illness such as sickle cell disease, pulmonary disease, kidney disease, etc.

Adults: those who have a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, COPD, splenectomy, who smoke, 65 years of age and older.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

Pneu-C-10 Conjugate 10-valent pneumococcal vaccine

Pneu-C-13 Conjugate 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine

For adults:

Pneu-P-23 Pneumococcal 23-valent polysaccharide vaccines

Pertussis

What are the symptoms?

Early symptoms are similar to that of the common cold, which include mild fever, coughing, a runny nose, and watery eyes. As the disease progresses, the coughing gets worse; problems with coughing can last from 6 to 12 weeks. Severe symptoms can include choking, vomiting, brain damage and even death.

How is it spread?

Whooping cough is spread by coughing or sneezing. You can be infected while in close contact with others or from sharing personal items or things like drinks or utensils.

Who is at risk?

People of any age can be affected, although whooping cough is most common in children and most severe in infants under one year of age.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

DTaP-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis and Haemophilus influenza type b conjugate vaccine

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliomyelitis and conjugated Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine.

DTaP-IPV Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

For adults:

Tdap-IPV Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

Tdap Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine

Mumps

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, sore muscles, earaches, a loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands under the ear or jaw (which can cause your cheeks to bulge out).

How is it spread?

Mumps is spread through direct contact with the saliva of an infected person.

Who is at risk?

People who are at risk of infection include those who have not had mumps or who have not been vaccinated. 

Students in secondary and post-secondary educational settings, military personnel, health care workers and travellers are at the greatest risk of getting mumps.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

MMR Live, attenuated, combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine

MMRV Live, attenuated, combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine

Meningococcal disease

What are the symptoms?

Early signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease include: severe headaches, neck stiffness, high fevers and a rash. If these occur, immediately seek medical attention.

How is it spread?

Meningococcal disease spreads through close contact and sharing of items like drinks, cutlery or toys. However, the most common form of transmission is contact with carriers of the bacteria. One in five healthy teens and adults are carriers for the bacteria and may remain a carrier of the same strain for up to six months.

Who is at risk?

Individuals at risk of meningococcal infection include those:

  • With functional or anatomic asplenia (including sickle cell disease)
  • With certain genetic risk factors
  • Exposed to an infected person
  • With a respiratory tract infection
  • With a recent influenza infection
  • Living in crowded housing
  • With HIV
  • Research, industrial and clinical laboratory personnel who are routinely exposed to N. meningitidis
  • Military recruits

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

4CMenB Multicomponent meningococcal vaccine

Men-C-C Monovalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine

Men-C-ACYW-135 Quadrivalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine

Men-P-ACYW-135 Quadrivalent polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine

Measles

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include fever, runny nose, drowsiness, irritability, red eyes and red blotchy rashes. These symptoms can take 7-14 days to develop.

How is it spread?

Measles is very contagious; it can spread quickly when airborne droplets from an infected person are released when they cough and sneeze.

Who is at risk?

Those who have not had the measles or who have not been vaccinated are at risk of infection.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

MMR Live, attenuated, combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine

MMRV Live, attenuated, combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine

Japanese encephalitis

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of Japanese encephalitis can take 5-to-15 days to appear. Some people don’t show any symptoms at all. Others have a fever, headache, seizures, weakness, mental or behavioural changes, paralysis, coma and death.

How is it spread?

The virus is regularly found in most Asian countries and some countries in northern Australia and Eastern Russia. The disease is spread by mosquitoes. Infected mosquitoes transmit the virus by biting a human. 

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

JE Inactivated, Japanese encephalitis vaccine

Invasive hemophilus influenza disease

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Hib change based on whether the infection is in the blood, the brain or the lungs.

Blood infection:

These symptoms include fever, confusion, headaches, body aches and a general feeling of being unwell.

Brain infection:

The symptoms include fever, severe headaches, changes in behaviour and a stiff neck and back. Complications can cause deafness, seizures, paralysis, brain damage and death.

Lung infection: 

People with lung infections suffer from fever, have difficulty breathing and may cough up thick mucus.

How is it spread?

Hib is spread through coughing and sneezing. You can also become infected by touching objects that someone with Hib has touched, sneezed on or coughed on.

Who is at risk?

Children attending group child care centres, Inuit children, and persons who had received a cochlear implant.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

DTaP-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliomyelitis and conjugated Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine.

For adults:

Hib Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine

Influenza

What are the symptoms?

The flu causes fever, sore throat, tiredness, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, nausea, vomiting, and muscle pain. Complications of the flu can result in trouble breathing, convulsions, seizures and pneumonia.

How is it spread?

The flu can spread through coughing and sneezing. You can become infected by coming in close contact with someone sick with the flu. You can also become infected by touching objects that someone with the flu has touched and then touching your eyes or mouth.

Who is at risk?

  • Children under 5 years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic conditions such as: heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes, severe obesity, asthmas and chronic lung disease, neurological disorders, cancer or immune-compromising conditions
  • Aboriginal people
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People who are residents or nursing homes or other chronic care facilities

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

TIV (Trivalent inactivated vaccine): protects against three strains of seasonal influenza virus

QIV (Quadrivalent inactivated vaccine): protects against four strains of seasonal influenza virus

LAIV (Live attenuated influenza vaccine): protects against three strains of seasonal influenza virus

Human papilloma virus infection

What are the symptoms?

Most individuals infected with HPV have no symptoms. They can pass the virus on to others without even knowing it. For some individuals, infections will go away without treatment within a couple of years, but others may develop HPV- related complications such as genital or anogenital warts, cervical, penile, anal, head or neck cancer.

How is it spread?

HPV is passed on through genital contact with an infected person.

Who is at risk?

Those who are most at risk include:

  • Individuals who have several sexual partners.
  • Individuals who have had a previous sexually transmitted infection.
  • Individuals with immune suppression.
  • Individuals with HIV infection.
  • Men who have sex with men.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

HPV2 Bivalent HPV vaccine

HPV4 Quadrivalent HPV vaccine

HPV9 Nine-valent HPV vaccine

Diphtheria

What are the symptoms?

Some individuals infected with diphtheria do not look or feel sick. Others have difficulty swallowing and develop a sore throat, fever, and chills. People with diphtheria can also suffer from suffocation, paralysis, heart failure, coma; these may also cause death.

How is it spread?

Diphtheria is spread by direct contact with an infected person. You can also become infected through airborne droplets spread from the nose or throat of an infected person.

Who is at risk?

People who are inadequately immunized or not immunized who travel to areas where diphtheria is common are at higher risk of getting diphtheria.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

For children:

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliomyelitis and conjugated Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine.

DTaP-IPV-Hib Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis and Haemophilus influenza type b conjugate vaccine

DTaP-IPV Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

For adults:

Tdap Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine

Tdap-IPV Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine combined with inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

Td Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid vaccine

Td-IPV Tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine

Cholera

What are the symptoms?

Many people who are infected with cholera don’t have any symptoms. Others do have symptoms. These symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

How is it spread?

You can become infected by eating and drinking food or water that is contaminated. You can also become infected by coming in contact with infected stool.

What vaccine is used to prevent it?

Inactivated, oral travellers’ diarrhea and cholera vaccine.



Last updated: 01/11/2018

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