Travel Tips & Resources

Meningococcal B Vaccination

According to the Ministry of Health about 70% of IMD (Invasive Meningococcal Disease) in Ontario can be caused by Meningococcal serogroup B against which Meningococcal B vaccine is effective.

Invasive meningococcal disease and meningitis are serious illnesses which can lead to death and disability are spread through contact with respiratory secretions and saliva of a sick person, simply like catching a cold.It is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitides which many people carry in their nose and throat without having symptoms ( carriers) and can pass to other healthy individuals leading to IMD and meningitis.

Currently there is different types of vaccines against different meningitis strains including the Meningococcal B (approved for ages 2 months-17 years ) and the Quadrivalent A,C,Y,W-135 (approved for 2 months age and older) vaccines.In Ontario the meningococcal B is only publicly funded or covered for patients with certain medical conditions.The quadrivalent A,C,Y,W-135 is publicly funded for students in grade 7 only.

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Japanese encephalitis Vaccination

Japanese encephalitis is viral infection of the brain transmitted by infected Culex mosquitoes that bite infected animals and then humans.

JE virus is the most common vaccine-preventable kind of encephalitis in Asia, occurring throughout most of Asia and parts of the Western Pacific.* Transmission principally occurs in rural agricultural areas, often associated with rice cultivation and flood irrigation.* In some areas of Asia, these ecologic conditions may occur near, or occasionally within, urban centers.* In temperate areas of Asia, transmission is seasonal, and human disease usually peaks in summer and fall.* In the subtropics and tropics, seasonal transmission varies with monsoon rains and irrigation practices and may be prolonged or even occur year-round.*

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Any traveller who develops one or more of those symptoms should see a doctor immediately.

The case-fatality ratio is approximately 20%–30%. Among survivors, 30%–50% have serious neurologic, cognitive, or psychiatric sequelae.* In other words, a third of those who become infected die and half the survivors become seriously disabled.


Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B is transmitted through contaminated blood and bodily fluids. In other words, it’s passed through blood transfusions, medical procedures and unprotected sex.

Even piercings, tattoos, pedicures or acupuncture can pose a risk to travellers. Safe sex through the use of condoms and avoiding the procedures mentioned above (and any procedure that may include an exchange of bodily fluids) are the primary preventive measures when combined with vaccination.

All travellers who have never had Hepatitis B vaccine or those who had not completed all the 3 Hepatitis B shots should get vaccinated.

Your travel doctor will give you hepatitis B vaccine as part of your travel immunization.

Hepatitis B is a serious disease as it can change to liver cirrhosis and/or liver cancer.

Hepatitis A Vaccination

Transmitted  through person to person and contaminated food and water,Hepatitis A infection is the most common vaccine prevented illness worldwide.

HAV is shed in the feces of infected people.* Food handlers with HAV infection pose a great risk to travellers.

Hepatitis A is one of the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel. In the United States the most frequently identified risk factor for hepatitis A is international travel. Risk is highest for those who live in or visit rural areas, trek in backcountry areas, or frequently eat or drink in settings of poor sanitation. However, cases of travel-related hepatitis A can also occur in travellers to developing countries with “standard” tourist itineraries, accommodations, and eating behaviours. *

The symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever and jaundice (yellowish or lemon discoloration of the white part of the eyes).

Cholera Vaccination

Infection occurs in many countries were water sanitation and food handling is suboptimal. Risk is highest after natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.

Cholera causes severe watery diarrhea that can lead quickly to dehydration, low blood pressure and shock.

In Canada, there is an approved oral cholera vaccine. Ask your doctor how you can benefit from the oral cholera vaccine.

Immediate medical care when symptomatic is a must.

Tetanus, Diptheria & Petusis Vaccination

All travellers should be up-to-date with this vaccine regardless of their itinerary.

Please Note:

  1. The information in this page is for educational purposes only. It is not to substitute for a formal travel consult with your doctor.
  2. this vaccine is a benefit of OHIP.
  3. Always seek immediate medical advice if you get sick abroad or after you return.
  4. this vaccine is routine vaccine and is not only for travellers.
  5. personal protective measures and injury avoidance should be always implemented regardless of vaccination status.
  6. If you have NOT had a tetanus booster in the last year, your travel doctor will give you one during the visit.

Travel Tips to Stay Healthy

Avoid Contaminated Food


  1. Always wash your hands before eating with soap and water or with alcohol hand sanitizer. Pocket-sized or purse-sized sanitizers are widely available in drug stores.
  2. Avoid raw or uncooked food like raw meat or seafood and uncooked vegetables.
  3. Avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products.
  4. Eat food that is thoroughly cooked and served hot. Food served cold or not hot is not safe, even if it was cooked well, since bacteria or pathogens can contaminate food after the food cools down. This applies to open buffets.
  5. Fresh sauces, dressings and condiments are not safe. Examples include ketchup, salsa, and salad dressings unless they are individually packaged.
  6. Eat fruits only if you peel them yourself. Fruits served peeled, like in fruit salads, are not safe. Fruits that cannot be peeled like berries are not safe.

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