Kenya is a premier safari destination, but this country offers more than just world-renowned wildebeest migrations. On your trip to Kenya, you could encounter unexpected surprises like vaccine-preventable diseases. To avoid becoming ill on your trip, you need to receive these three vaccinations.
Typhoid fever, sometimes called traveler's diarrhea, can put a major damper on your trip. It occurs when you eat or drink something that's contaminated with Salmonella enterica typhi. Diarrhea is unpleasant at the best of times, but when you're in the middle of the savannah and need to do your business behind a bush, it's even worse!
Typhoid fever can cause more than just diarrhea; it can also lead to life-threatening complications like a hemorrhage within your intestines. This is why getting vaccinated is so important. The typhoid vaccine isn't 100% effective, so you still need to be careful about what you consume, but it does lower your risk.
Rabies is a viral disease that is fatal once symptoms are present. You can get rabies if you're bitten or scratched by an animal that has rabies, like a dog, cat, or other mammal. If you're bitten by an infected animal in America, it's fairly easy to get to the doctor to get a post-exposure vaccine, but out in the savannah, doctors are harder to come by. This is why you need to get a pre-exposure vaccine before you leave for your trip.
At first, rabies causes flu-like symptoms, but fear of water, excess salivation, hallucinations, and death will soon follow. To protect yourself from this fate, you'll need to receive a course of three pre-exposure vaccinations before your trip. These shots are spread out over a period of three to four weeks, so don't save this for the last minute.
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease. It's not well known in the United States, but it's endemic to many parts of tropical Africa, including Kenya. The risk isn't high for most travelers, but for people who will be spending a lot of time outdoors in rural or jungle areas (like safari-goers), the risk is greater.
Yellow fever leads to symptoms like fever, joint pain, abdominal pain, and vomiting. About 15% of people develop more serious symptoms like internal bleeding or jaundice (which is how the disease got the name "yellow fever"); about half of these people will die. To avoid getting seriously ill or worse while on safari, make sure to get your yellow fever vaccination. Studies have shown that the vaccine's efficacy rate can be as high as 98.2%.
If you're heading to Kenya for a safari, make sure to receive all necessary travel vaccinations before you go. Talk to a center like The Pediatric Center for more information.
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