This fall, flu season is already making its achy, feverish presence felt. Last year’s flu pandemic had major travel implications, with the U.S. and other countries temporarily cautioning about travel to hard-hit areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it’s “likely that 2009 H1N1 viruses will continue to spread along with seasonal viruses in the U.S. during the 2010-2011 flu season.”
Whether or not you’re planning to travel this fall or winter, a flu shot may be a good idea. For travelers, staying healthy can mean the difference between a miserable trip and a great one. Here are this year’s recommendations from the CDC:
Whereas last year, there was a scramble for multiple vaccines—the standard flu shot plus a separate H1N1 immunization—this year’s vaccine covers Influenza B strains plus H1N1 and H3N2. The CDC reports that even if you got an H1N1 or seasonal vaccine last year, you should get vaccinated this year because the vaccine viruses have been updated.
Everyone six months or older should be vaccinated.
People at high risk for developing flu-related complications include children under 5 (especially children under 2), adults 65 years or older, pregnant women, and people with medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, and endocrine disorders.
People 65 and older have the option of a regular dose or a new, high-dose vaccine.
Get flu vaccines two weeks before the start of your trip.
More Resources for Staying Healthy While Traveling