Planning your vacation to a country in Africa is an exciting experience, but it is still important to be cautious. There are many infectious diseases that flourish in the warm climate of Africa, and since some of the population is not vaccinated, these diseases can spread quickly. You can avoid some disease by only drinking boiled water and wearing insect repellent, but it is also important to have the proper vaccinations. In addition to getting a booster for basic illnesses like measles, chickenpox, and the flu, make sure you have been vaccinated against these dangerous illnesses before you go to Africa.
According to Travel Clinics of America, Hepatitis A is the most prevalent dangerous disease that can be stopped with vaccinations. It is transmitted through food and drinks, and hepatitis A harms the liver and may eventually cause organ failure. You will need two shots done six months apart from each other to be completely protected from Hepatitis A.
Travel doctors also strongly recommend that anyone traveling to Africa get a vaccination for typhoid. Typhoid fever is particularly common in developing places in South Africa, and it is spread through contaminated food and drinks.
Meningococcal meningitis is extremely common in sub-Saharan Africa, and it can cause a deadly inflammation of the brain. You most likely already had a vaccination against this bacteria as a child, but you should check with your doctor before traveling to Africa.
This virus is spread through mosquito bites, but it can be prevented by both insect repellent and vaccinations. Many countries in Africa require travelers to show proof of yellow fever vaccination before entering the country because they are so concerned about it spreading.
Like hepatitis A, this vaccine must be given over the course of six months. It spreads through contaminated blood and sexual transmission, so it is somewhat harder to catch than hepatitis A. People who are traveling in Africa for an extended period of time have a higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Polio has mostly been eradicated in Northern America, but it is still common in Kenya, Nigeria, and other African countries. The polio vaccine you had as a child weakens with time, so a polio booster is recommended.
Rabies is spread through animals, so you should get a rabies vaccine if you are going to be in a rural area with lots of animals. The average vaccination clinic may not have rabies vaccines, so you might need to talk to your doctor about getting this vaccination which requires multiple shots over three to four weeks.