People who travel overseas have a 50% chance of suffering a travel-related illness. Usually the illness is a minor one; however, every year a small number of New Zealanders return from overseas with a serious illness, like hepatitis A, malaria or typhoid. Some travel-related illnesses are preventable by vaccination including hepatitis A, typhoid, cholera, meningococcal disease, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and yellow fever.
Vaccinations are not needed for all destinations, but it is always worth checking. Ideally, this means seeing your doctor or a travel medicine clinic 6 to 8 weeks before departure. The vaccinations recommended depend on your destination, style of travel and accommodation, length of stay and medical history. But it is not only the exotic diseases that need to be considered. For instance, hepatitis B and measles are more common in many popular destinations, and older travellers may be at a higher risk of influenza when overseas, so check that your routine vaccinations are also up-to-date.
Remember as part of your travel plans, consult your doctor or a travel medicine clinic for health advice and to make sure you are fit to travel. Be sure to allow enough time (at least 6 to 8 weeks) to enquire about and receive vaccines and/or malaria prophylaxis.