Year of the Pig Festivities Start on February 5th
CDC says international travelers should review country-specific health information
Many Americans intend to visit Asia to celebrate the ‘Year of the Pig’, which occupies the 12th position in the Chinese zodiac.
If you were born in a Pig year, you are known as a Pig in China.
Falling on February 5, 2019, the Chinese New Year marks the turn of the lunar year.
If you plan to travel to Asia to participate in the festivities, you can take some simple precautions to help you stay safe and healthy, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on January 9, 2019.
The CDC said to check this page for country-specific health information, including vaccine and medicine recommendations, along with many other travel tips.
Moreover, the CDC says to take actions to prevent mosquito bites while traveling. Various infectious diseases are common throughout Asia, such as malaria, Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and Japanese encephalitis.
International travelers can take a few actions to protect themselves while traveling, such as:
- Schedule an appointment with a travel specialist at least 1 month before you depart.
- Talk to the doctor, nurse or pharmacists about vaccines and medicines recommended for your destination.
- The CDC’s vaccine recommendations may include hepatitis A, typhoid, hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, and rabies.
- The CDC also recommends that travelers be up to date on routine vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and influenza (flu).
- Malaria is a risk in some parts of Asia. Medicine for malaria may be recommended, depending on the time of travel and destination.
- Medicine for travelers’ diarrhea may also be recommended.
- Pack your prescription and over-the-counter medicines (as well as other important supplies), as part of a travel health kit.
- Register your trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to get the latest safety and security information for your destination country.
- Leave copies of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home, in case they are lost during travel.
Since US travelers may be targets for criminals during mass gatherings, the CDC says:
- If possible, don't travel at night, avoid questionable areas, and travel with a companion.
- If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. People are more likely to hurt themselves or other people, engage in risky sex, or get arrested when they have been drinking.
- Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
- Carry with you the contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate and the emergency service numbers for your destination.
After your trip, if you are not feeling well, you may need to see a doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip.
Also, tell the doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.
To schedule a pre-trip counseling session with a local pharmacy, please visit Vax-Before-Travel.