Before leaving on a trip to Asia, you may ask, “What shots do I need to travel to China”? Officially, the Chinese government only requires you to provide proof of the yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling to China from a country where yellow fever is common. However, there are many vaccinations and other medications that are highly recommended by the CDC and your physician to prevent illnesses that you may be exposed to during your travels.
There are numerous diseases found in China and Eastern Asia. Malaria is a disease that is spread by mosquitoes and is prevalent in many areas of China. Your physician can provide you with anti-malaria drugs to prevent the disease. It is important to wear long sleeves and long pants and to sleep in rooms with bed netting to avoid contact with mosquitoes. Northeastern China is known for having the disease called tick-borne encephalitis as well as avian influenza (H5N1), which is also found in certain Eastern Asian countries with high populations of wild birds.
You should contact a physician that specializes in travel at least three months before your departure. He will be able to assess your true vaccination and medication needs based on your health history, past vaccinations and where you will be traveling within China. Recommended vaccinations prior to travel may include typhoid, hepatitis A and B, tuberculosis, rabies, cholera, tick-borne encephalitis, and Japanese B encephalitis. Routine vaccinations such as diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus and measles/mumps/rubella should also be up-to-date prior to your trip to China.
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