Planning for Parasitic Diseases When Travelling

What to know

International travelers can be at risk for a variety of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

family airport travel

Parasitic Illnesses That Can Be Acquired During Travel*

From Contaminated Food and Water

Contaminated food and drink are common sources for the introduction of infection into the body. The table below shows some of the more common parasitic infections that travelers can acquire from contaminated food and drink, as well as a few of the less common parasitic diseases that travelers are at risk for acquiring. The risk of acquiring these other protozoa and helminths varies greatly by region of the world and specific country. Many infectious diseases transmitted in food and water can also be acquired directly through the fecal-oral route.

More Common

Less Common

From Vector-borne Transmission

More Common

Less Common

*This list is not comprehensive.

International travelers can take a number of simple steps before and during travel to avoid potential health problems. International travelers should

  1. contact their physicians, local health departments, or private or public agencies that advise international travelers at least 4 to 6 weeks before departure to schedule an appointment to receive current health information on the countries they plan to visit,
  2. obtain vaccinations and prophylactic medications as indicated, and
  3. address any special needs.

CDC's Travelers' Health Website contains detailed advice for health care providers. Health departments, the travel industry, multinational corporations, missionary and volunteer organizations, and travelers can also use this information to help make international travel as healthy and safe as possible.

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