Vaccination and Travel Information for Canada

CANADA

 Information current as at: February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No 1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dublin 2 Ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.


Climate: Canada's climate is characterized by its diversity, as temperature and rain fall differ from region to region and from season to season. In the extreme north temperatures climb above 0°C for only a few months a year, but most Canadians live within 300 kilometres of the country's southern border, where mild springs, warm summers and pleasantly crisp autumns prevail at least seven months of the year.
While seasonal change signals fluctuations in temperature and the number of hours of sunshine, the shifting position of air masses also plays a part. The usual air flow from west to east is often disrupted in winter when cold, dry air moves down from the Arctic, and in summer when warm, tropical air moves up from the southeast. Added to these factors are the effects of mountain ranges, plains and large bodies of water.
Capital City: Ottawa
Altitude: 80 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver
Population: 31,281,092
Land Area (sq km): 9,976,140
Currency: 1 Canadian dollar = 100 cents
Languages: English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%
Religions: Roman Catholic 42%, Protestant 40%, other 18%
Economy: Motor vehicles and parts, newsprint, wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, telecommunications equipment, electricity



 The D2 Medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

CHOLERA Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
DIPHTHERIA We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.
HEPATITIS 'A' Immunisation is strongly recommended but not compulsory.


HEPATITIS ‘B’ Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in the area for 1 month or more.
Transmission of Hepatitis B is through sex or contact with contaminated blood, needles and syringes.


POLIO Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.



RABIES Immunisation is not routinely recommended, but may be so for travellers who will be living in rural areas for 1 month or more.


TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not routinely recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt, and this is recommended pre- and post- travel for those going to ‘at risk’ regions.


TETANUS We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

TYPHOID FEVER Immunisation is recommended.

YELLOW FEVER No vaccination requirements for any international traveller




Malaria is not present in any area of this country.




GENERAL
Excellent medical care is widely available, though expensive. The Canadian health care system is run on a provincial basis (e.g. the province of Ontario has its own hospital insurance plan as does each of the other provinces and territories) and is funded by Canadian taxpayer money. Tourists and temporary visitors do not qualify for this health care plan and should have their own insurance to cover any medical expenses. Health care professionals in the province of Quebec might only speak French. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is essential.

HEALTH, ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The D2 Medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DR JOHN J RYAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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