Anyone planning to visit India should know what health information is important for him or her. Whether, he or she needs vaccination and medication to get over the risk of contracting diseases while travelling in India. It is advisable to seek your family doctor to ascertain exactly what you need (based on your past medical history) before embarking on a tour to India. More importantly, you need to consult your family doctor at least four to six weeks before your departure so that whatever preventive treatment (such as anti-malaria vaccines and medicine) to be effective. One must visit his or her family doctor at least once to get sound advice on how to protect him or her from illnesses or injuring while touring India.
Besides above, it is sensible for you to get some sound advice from an experienced doctor who has specialized in travel medicine. Also, if you were suffering from a medical condition before, it is better to inform your family doctor about your complications and you're travelling plan to India. Accordingly, your family doctor wills advice you what precautions you should take to prevent or minimize contracting diseases that are common in India.
- CDC : Health Information for Travelers to India
Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.
- UK : Foreign travel advice
Safety and security, Terrorism, Local laws and customs, Entry requirements
- WebMD : Vaccines for Travel to India
The government of India keeps a close watch on travellers who come from countries that have Yellow fever virus and other diseases. As such, travellers from such countries (which have the risk of contracting yellow fever) require to present documentation to prove that they were immunized (or vaccination) from yellow fever. Although, India does not have Yellow fever problem, any traveller visiting India from a country other than the United States (or transiting through other countries which have Yellow fever risk) will be subject to this condition.
Before travelling to India, see whether you have got the regular vaccinations for influenza, chickenpox, polio, measles/mumps/rubella/diphtheria and tetanus. These routine vaccinations are recommended for anyone who travel or do not travel to India. However, anyone who has not taken routine vaccination has the risk of contracting common diseases when touring India.
As we all know, India is a rapidly developing nation, as such visitors to India need to take preventive measures against common illnesses which are not present in developed countries such as United Kingdom, USA, Germany etc.
When you start planning your trip to India and sit down to make a to-do list, put "call your doctor for vaccine appointment" at the top of the list.
Here are some of the vaccines you may need for travel to India:
Diarrhoea is a very common ailment among travellers not only to India but also travelling to many other countries. This is caused by consumption of unhygienic food and water. Similarly, some visitor from overseas can suffer from diarrhoea owing to change in diet or spicy food available in India. It's always far-sighted to carry oral rehydration salts, as well as anti-diarrhoea tablets while travelling in India.
What preventive measure that you can take to minimize the risk of Diarrhoea? First thing is to find clean potable water. In essence, drink bottled water that is supplied by certified and reputed suppliers. Try to avoid buffets and always eat freshly cooked food that is served boiling hot. Avoid fresh salads, fresh fruit juices and ice. The non-vegetarians should avoid food available at cheap wayside restaurants and railway sellers.
Dengue Fever and Malaria
Dengue and Malaria are present in hot and humid countries like India. These diseases are caused by mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water resulting from stagnant water during monsoon rains. Dengue and Malaria is life threatening if not diagnosed early, if anyone suspects that he or she has contracted the disease, need to consult a qualified doctor to get the correct treatment and advice soon.
What preventive measures available for the discerning traveller to India? To prevent Malaria (which is a bacterial infection), you need to take anti-malaria drugs. For Dengue (which is a virus), best thing to take adequate precautions against mosquito bites in the morning. For example, wearing strong repellent containing DEET or Citronella ointment is advisable. It is important to note there is no cure or vaccine available for Dengue fever. Hence, right precaution and early diagnosis is vital to prevent any fatalities due Dengue. Especially, the children are at more risk due to Dengue.
Hepatitis A and B
Hepatitis A is due to consumption of contaminated water and food. It affects the victims liver and prolong neglect will cause even death. Hepatitis B is similar to aids which are spread through blood and bodily fluids. Preventing these diseases on should take correct injections and vaccinations including uncontaminated food and avoiding infected people.
Typhoid is a very common disease in India. This is contracted by consuming contaminated water and food that contains typhoid causing bacteria. The high fever, sweating, vomiting and purging are the common symptoms of Typhoid.
Typhoid can be cured using oral or needle vaccination, and prolong treatment of strong antibiotics.
Tetanus is a caused by bacteria living in the soil and animal dung. Anyone can get infected through cut injuries. If neglected, the victim will end up with death. Common symptoms are muscle contraction and spasm. Diseases from spores in the earth and animal dung, which enter the body though open cuts. It produces stiff muscles and spasms.
It can be prevented by early vaccination and immunization.
AIDS victims are increasing in thousand in India. The disease caused through a virus during sexual intercourse. AIDS cannot be cured. Best thing to avoid unprotected sex or avoid infected people. Proper awareness and prevention can minimize the risk of contracting this disease.
If you are planning to travel to India, first consult your family doctor and get the correct advice and immunization based on your present health condition. Similarly, you need to be equipped with appropriate first aid kit to prevent common diseases prevailing in India. By having proper hygiene, consuming uncontaminated food and water including proper awareness, you can stay healthy on a tour in India.