Planning a vacation to apartheid Cuba to marvel at the misery? Make sure you get your vaccinations

Hank Tester in The Examiner:

Cuba Travel: Health Concerns

U.S. leisure travel to Cuba, by however means, nearly doubled last year, to more than 160,000 visitors. That number expected to increase in 2016 of between 10 and 20 percent, Cuban travel experts predict.

As travelers become attracted to Cuban destinations outside of Havana and the beaches on the north side of the island the exposure to health risks become and issue worth considering. Cuba is a third world county and has issues travelers should consider. America Healthcare experts and the Center for Disease Control has suggestions for Cuba travelers and reminders that individuals can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Cuba. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated especially if visitors are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas or eating on the street or in hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are prevalent throughout the Island. As frequent travelers have noticed in many cities such as Havana old infrastructure has lead to broken sewer lines which can produce raw sewage in the streets.

The CDC warns about Hepatitis A and recommends being vaccinated as a Cuba travelers could encounter contaminated food or water no matter what they are eating or where they are staying. Travelers can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, a vaccination is recommended as is a typhoid shot which is recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in Cuba, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water.

Local mosquito transmission of Zika virus infection has been reported in Cuba. Because Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, CDC recommends that travelers to Cuba, since there is no preventative vaccine, take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The CDC has issued a Zika travel warning for Cuba.

In many cities in the U.S. there are travel medicine clinics that can guide travelers to proper inoculations for a Cuba trip. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control it’s best to schedule a doctor visit or travel medicine clinic four to six weeks before an international trip. Since a body needs time to build up immunity after receiving a vaccine and many vaccines are given in a series over time, getting an early start on immunizations is the best way to insure a healthy Cuba travel experience.