The Student Health Center can help with your travel needs

Many Mary Washington students travel each semester to Africa, Latin America, and South America. While travel to Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan has no immunization requirements, there are recommendations for tropical and subtropical environments.

Your best source of information is the Centers for Disease Control

The CDC has the latest, up-to-date immunization and travel health information  for all destinations. Go to directly to the travel page here: (CDC) Traveler’s Health website

Zika Virus

There is much international concern at this time about the mosquito borne Zika virus. We highly recommend that you go to the CDC’s Ziki webpage and learn more. While only 1 out of 5 people infected with the Zika virus develops symptoms, the major concern at this time is in pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant. We strongly discourage any of our pregnant students from traveling to countries with Zika virus at this time.

Review your past immunizations

Your last tetanus shot should be within the past ten years. You should have two MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) shots, at least four polio vaccinations and three hepatitis B shots.

Start Hepatitis A shots

We recommend starting the Hepatitis A series of two shots, preferably, the first at least one month before travel. The second shot is six months later.

Take malaria prevention medication

The most common medications for malaria prevention are taken once a week starting a few days before your trip, during your trip and for four weeks after the trip. The exact medication depends on your destination.

Get immunized against typhoid fever

While the Student Health Center does not carry the shot version, we can give you a prescription for the oral form. More information here.

Take an anti-diarrhea prescription with you

You should consider taking Cipro or Zithromax (antibiotics) in case of traveler’s diarrhea. Take one pill twice a day for three days for acute diarrhea with fever.

Buy mosquito repellent

Malaria is not the only disease carried by mosquitoes. Read about Dengue Fever and Chikungunya before you travel. There is no vaccine or treatment. Prevent mosquito bites in the first place.

Yellow Fever

If you are traveling to South America, find out if you need a Yellow Fever vaccination.

See the Doctor

We recommend that you make an appointment with the University Physician to review your medical history and immunizations, discuss our travel recommendations and receive prescriptions for the above items.