Health Risks And Vaccinations In Canada

Health Risks And Vaccinations In Canada
Canada is one of the world's cleanest countries, with virtually no infectious disease issues to worry about. The water can safely be consumed from the tap in every city, food quality standards are up to international levels and other nasties like malaria and cholera simply don't exist here.

While there are no required vaccinations to enter Canada, it is suggested that every person get shots for hepatitis A and B since this is a common disease passed along through restaurants and other food establishments. It is enough of a problem in Canadian restaurants that it's worth taking care of this quick and cheap vaccination.

All children in Canada must be immunised against the usual group of contagious diseases like polio, mumps and so on. You will have to show immunisation records from your home country to government officials for all your children, as well as adults in some cases. If you cannot produce official records, you will have to get the shots in Canada. Children cannot attend school without proof of immunisation.

Since much of Canada is wilderness, there is the potential for diseases such as Lyme disease or West Nile Virus. Lyme disease is spread through ticks that live in wooded areas, while West Nile Virus is the handiwork of mosquitoes. The bugs in Canada are incredibly virulent during the summer months when they spawn, live and die in a frenzy of survival.

If you plan to do any outdoor recreation during the summer months, it is essential to come prepared with a solid insect repellent that has 30 to 50 per cent DEET in it, or Picaridin which comes in concentrations of 7 or 15 per cent. Wearing long sleeves and long pants even if it's hot will help tremendously against bug bites, ticks and leeches. The black flies and mosquitoes of Canada are legendary, and should never be underestimated. While rarely fatal, their prodigious biting guarantees days of annoying scratching and unsightly red bug bite marks.

Rabies is another potential animal disease in Canada. If you are bitten by any dog, raccoon or other small animal be sure and go to the hospital right away and get a tetanus shot. Diseases from water and food are the most common health concerns in Canada for travellers and newcomers. It's advised to avoid eating unpasteurised dairy products of any kind and be wary of undercooked meat and raw vegetables in restaurants.