CDC Advice (GY) - Notes for Travellers - Wilderness Explorers
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CDC Advice (GY) – Notes for Travellers

NOTES FOR TRAVELLERS
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Guyana – Travellers Health

Travellers’ Immunizations

Information from the Centers for Disease Control, updated July 2015
Please read the CDC’s update on Chikungunya issued in May 2014

Before visiting Guyana, you may need to get vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases that are a threat at your destination: (Note: Your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.)

To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria, if you need it.

Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.

CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine.  Find a travel medicine clinic near you. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons.

If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school.

Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Check the links below to see which vaccinations adults and children should get.

Routine vaccines, as they are often called, such as for influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) are given at all stages of life; see the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule and routine adult immunization schedule.

Routine vaccines are recommended even if you do not travel. Although childhood diseases, such as measles, rarely occur in the United States, they are still common in many parts of the world. A traveler who is not vaccinated would be at risk for infection.

Vaccine recommendations are based on the best available risk information. Please note that the level of risk for vaccine-preventable diseases can change at any time. Click directly to the CDC website for the most current recommendations and advisories.

 

All travelers

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel.

Routine vaccines Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. get_vaccinated hygiene

Most travelers

Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting.

Hepatitis A CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Guyana, regardless of where you are eating or staying. get_vaccinated eat_drink
Typhoid You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Guyana. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater. get_vaccinated eat_drink
Yellow Fever Health recommendation: Yellow fever is a risk in Guyana, so CDC recommends this vaccine for all travelers who are 9 months of age or older.Country entry requirement: The government of Guyana also requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US – for complete list, see Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission.)See more information on yellow fever recommendations and requirements for Guyana. get_vaccinated avoid_insects

Some travelers

Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

Hepatitis B You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures. get_vaccinated avoid_body_fluids avoid-non-sterile-equipment
Malaria Talk to your doctor about how to prevent malaria while traveling. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, especially if you are visiting low-altitude areas. See more detailed information about malaria in Guyana. antimalarial_meds avoid_insects
Rabies Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Guyana, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to Guyana
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
get_vaccinated animals

Malaria

Areas of Guyana with Malaria: Present in all areas <900 m (2,953 ft), including Georgetown. (more information)

If you will be visiting an area of Guyana with malaria, you will need to discuss with your doctor the best ways for you to avoid getting sick with malaria. Ways to prevent malaria include the following:

  • Taking a prescription antimalarial drug
  • Using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites
  • Sleeping in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or using bednets

All of the following antimalarial drugs are equal options for preventing malaria in Guyana: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. For detailed information about each of these drugs, see Table 3-11: Drugs used in the prophylaxis of malaria. For information that can help you and your doctor decide which of these drugs would be best for you, please see Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.

Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Guyana and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.

To find out more information on malaria throughout the world, you can use the interactive CDC malaria map. You can search or browse countries, cities, and place names for more specific malaria risk information and the recommended prevention medicines for that area.

Malaria Contact for Health-Care Providers
For assistance with the diagnosis or management of suspected cases of malaria, call the CDC Malaria Hotline: 770-488-7788 or toll-free 1-855-856-4713 (M-F, 9 am-5 pm, Eastern time). For clinicians needing emergency consultation after hours, call 770-488-7100 and ask to speak with a CDC Malaria Branch clinician.

A Special Note about Antimalarial Drugs
You should purchase your antimalarial drugs before travel. Drugs purchased overseas may not be manufactured according to United States standards and may not be effective. They also may be dangerous, contain counterfeit medications or contaminants, or be combinations of drugs that are not safe to use.

Halofantrine (marketed as Halfan) is widely used overseas to treat malaria. CDC recommends that you do NOT use halofantrine because of serious heart-related side effects, including deaths. You should avoid using antimalarial drugs that are not recommended unless you have been diagnosed with life-threatening malaria and no other options are immediately available.

For detailed information about these antimalarial drugs, see Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.

 

More Information About Malaria

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health-care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.

Travelers to malaria risk-areas in Guyana, including infants, children, and former residents of Guyana, should take one of the antimalarial drugs listed in the box above.

Symptoms
Malaria symptoms may include

  • fever
  • chills
  • sweats
  • headache
  • body aches
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fatigue

Malaria symptoms will occur at least 7 to 9 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Fever in the first week of travel in a malaria-risk area is unlikely to be malaria; however, you should see a doctor right away if you develop a fever during your trip.

Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice. Malaria infections with Plasmodium falciparum, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, coma, and death. Despite using the protective measures outlined above, travelers may still develop malaria up to a year after returning from a malarious area. You should see a doctor immediately if you develop a fever anytime during the year following your return and tell the physician of your travel.

Other diseases

The following are disease risks that might affect travelers; this is not a complete list of diseases that can be present. Environmental conditions may also change, and up to date information about risk by regions within a country may also not always be available.

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in Guyana. Epidemics of viral encephalitis and dengue fever occur in some countries in this area. Bartonellosis, or Oroya fever (a sand fly-borne disease), occurs in arid river valleys on the western slopes of the Andes up to 3,000 meters (9,842 feet). Louse-borne typhus, a rickettsial infection is often found in mountain areas of Colombia and Peru. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that can be contracted in fresh water in South America, is found in Brazil, Suriname, and north-central Venezuela. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries.

Marine hazards

Include jellyfish, sharks, sea urchins, electric eels, stingrays, biting fish, and sea snakes. Heed posted warnings at organized beaches, and do not bathe at unmarked, unpatrolled beaches. Swimming in rivers is discouraged for a host of safety and health reasons, however locals are regularly seen bathing and swimming in local waterways.