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Travel Medical Advice for the Aland Islands

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Preparing for Your Trip to Finland/Aland Islands

Before visiting Finland, you may need to get the following vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for at your destination: (Note: Your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.)

To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect.

Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, medications, and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.

If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school.

Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Check the links below to see which vaccinations adults and children should get.

Routine vaccines, as they are often called, such as for influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) are given at all stages of life; see the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule and routine adult immunization schedule.

Routine vaccines are recommended even if you do not travel. Although childhood diseases, such as measles, rarely occur in the United States, they are still common in many parts of the world. A traveler who is not vaccinated would be at risk for infection.

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Vaccine recommendations are based on the best available risk information. Please note that the level of risk for vaccine-preventable diseases can change at any time.

Vaccination or Disease Recommendations or Requirements for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Routine  Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.
 
Hepatitis B  Recommended for all unvaccinated persons who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment, such as for an accident, even in developed countries, and for all adults requesting protection from HBV infection.

Rabies vaccination is only recommended for travelers involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats, carnivores, and other mammals. These travelers include wildlife professionals, researchers, veterinarians, or adventure travelers visiting areas where bats, carnivores, and other mammals are commonly found.

Items to Bring With You

Medicines you may need:

The prescription medicines you take every day. Make sure you have enough to last during your trip. Keep them in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. Be sure to follow security guidelines, if the medicines are liquids.

Note: Some drugs available by prescription in the US are illegal in other countries. Check the US Department of State Consular Information Sheets for the country(s) you intend to visit or the embassy or consulate for that country(s). If your medication is not allowed in the country you will be visiting, ask your health-care provider to write a letter on office stationery stating the medication has been prescribed for you.

Other items you may need:

See suggested over-the-counter medications and first aid items for a travelers' health kit.

Note: Check the Air Travel section of the Transportation Security Administration website for the latest information about airport screening procedures and prohibited items.

Other Diseases Found in Western Europe

Risk can vary between countries within this region and also within a country; the quality of in-country surveillance also varies.

The following are disease risks that might affect travelers; this is not a complete list of diseases that can be present. Environmental conditions may also change, and up to date information about risk by regions within a country may also not always be available.

Tickborne encephalitis (TBE) occurs in warmer months of the southern part of the nontropical forested regions of Europe.

Leishmaniasis (cutaneous and visceral) is found, especially in countries bordering the Mediterranean, with the highest number of cases from Spain, where it is an important opportunistic infection in HIV-infected persons.

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob cases have been reported primarily from the United Kingdom, although a few cases have been reported from other countries in Western Europe. Large outbreaks of trichinosis have occurred; outbreaks in France have been linked to horse meat.

Measles outbreaks occurred in several European countries in 2006.

Risk of hepatitis A is low, although sporadic outbreaks have occurred in developed countries.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 has been documented in wild birds or other avian species in several of the countries in Europe. For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).


Staying Healthy During Your Trip

Prevent Insect Bites

Diseases, like tickborne encephalitis (TBE) and leishmaniasis are spread through tick and sandfly bites respectively. One of the best protections is to prevent such bites by:

Using insect repellent with 30%-50% DEET. Picaridin, available in 7% and 15% concentrations, needs to be applied more frequently.

Wearing long-sleeved shirts which should be tucked in, long pants, and hats to cover exposed skin. When you visit areas with ticks and fleas, wear boots, not sandals, and tuck pants into socks.

For detailed information about insect repellent use, see Insect and Arthropod Protection.

Prevent Animal Bites and Scratches
Direct contact with animals can spread diseases like rabies or cause serious injury or illness. It is important to prevent animal bites and scratches.
Be sure you are up to date with tetanus vaccination.
Do not touch or feed any animals, including dogs and cats. Even animals that look like healthy pets can have rabies or other diseases.
Help children stay safe by supervising them carefully around all animals.
If you are bitten or scratched, wash the wound well with soap and water and go to a doctor right away.
After your trip, be sure to tell your doctor or state health department if you were bitten or scratched during travel.
For more information about rabies and travel, see the Rabies chapter of the Yellow Book or CDC's Rabies homepage. For more information about how to protect yourself from other risks related to animals, see Animal-Associated Hazards.
Be Careful about Food and Water
Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers. Follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:

Avoid unpasteurized dairy products.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Avoid Injuries

Car crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from these injuries by:

Not drinking and driving.

Wearing your seat belt and using car seats or booster seats in the backseat for children.

Following local traffic laws.

Wearing helmets when you ride bikes, motorcycles, and motor bikes.

Hiring a local driver, when possible.

Avoiding night driving.
 
Other Health Tips

To avoid infections such as HIV and viral hepatitis do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing, or injections.

To reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases always use latex condoms.

After You Return Home

If you are not feeling well, you should see your doctor and mention that you have recently traveled.  Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

Important Note: This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers to this region. Consult with your doctor for specific information related to your needs and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.


Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.

 


Check out the Security Travel advice for the Aland Islands HERE.......

Find out what Travel Advice the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has to recommend for the Aland Islands HERE

Regards

The SW Team...........