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Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

US
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Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

I finally booked my trip to St. John and now am planning the details. I was on the CDC website to see if there are any vaccines recommended for travel to the US Virgin Islands and they recommend both Hepatitis A and typhoid. Some other websites I read say only Hepatitis A is recommended. For more seasoned St. John travelers, do you get any vaccines prior to traveling there? Also, do I need to worry about avoiding any types of food such as fruits, tap water, or meat on my trip? Is traveler's diarrhea common (should I bring anti-diarrheal meds or antibiotics just in case)?

St Thomas, VI
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1. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

I don't know of anybody ever getting a vaccination to visit the US Virgin Islands. You can safely eat anything and everything, and tap water served in restaurants or hotels is safe to drink. Water at a private villa may be cistern water, and most people prefer to drink bottled water in lieu of cistern water.

Pittsford, New York
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2. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

Go to St John every year, never even consider getting a vaccination. I do usually buy jugs and bottles of water, but that's almost for convenience rather than anything else. I brush my teeth with tap water and I get ice in my drinks at the bars. Never a problem

Coral Bay, St. John
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3. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

I live on St John and I drink the tap water ( at most places). If I had to list top health concerns they would be ... ANYTHING REQUIRING URGENT CARE! More minor things would be ...hangover, sea urchins, jelly fish, bug bites, thorns and perhaps Christmas Tree Bush ( like poison ivy - looks like a small holly with shiny green and sometimes red/orange/yellow leaves).

As far as Hepatitis A ...it's most prevalent in developing countries where water and hygiene are issues. It's spread by the fecal-oral route. Avoid raw seafood and choose restaurants that are established and licensed. if you are worried ...get the shot.

CT
Destination Expert
for St. John
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24 reviews
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4. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

I have never heard of anyone getting a vaccine before travel to STJ.

I drink bottled water at villas but I drink tap water in town at restaurants and use tap at the villa for cooking, teeth brushing, etc.

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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5. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

Just pack plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent!

Northern Virginia
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6. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

I went to the CDC website shortly after booking our reservations, and saw the same recommendations. I opted to get the Hep A vaccine. However, that was more because our food supply is so globalized - making it a prudent consideration in general - than because of any threat in St. John. I decided against the typhoid vaccine, as neither the injection nor the pill versions cover all strains of the illness. Additionally, the incidence of the illness was no higher in St. John than many places in CONUS. (I'm sorry, I can't recall where I saw the report documenting that, though.) It's never a bad thing to check with your primary doctor, if you have concerns, though.

Parker, Colorado
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for St. John
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7. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

This is St. John. I believe you may be over-thinking. The worst epidemics I've heard of come from cruise shippers- The Norovirus. It's just 3 hours from Miami. I over think things pretty often, but not this one. No worries. Just go and enjoy. You'll be fine.

Arlington, Virginia
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for St. John, Cruz Bay
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25 reviews
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8. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

Never had a vaccine, never had a problem. We did enjoy a case of food poisoning in July, 2000 at the festival village for Carnival. It was the salt fish pate. Call it in one in 35 visits. That being said, we also stay away from places like Great Cruz Bay and Coral Bay when there is a lot of runoff... maybe Hep A is not such a bad idea.

Cheers, RickG

California
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9. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

You know this is still part of the United States right? It follows all the same required health requirements as the rest of the US. It's just that it's a territory like San Juan or Guam, not a state.

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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10. Re: Travel vaccines and other travel health questions

Note the last sentence in both these paragraphs which are general advisories issued to travelers:

"Typhoid vaccine is recommended for those planning an extended stay in rural areas or expecting to consume potentially contaminated food. Typhoid is uncommon in most Caribbean countries. Most travelers do not require typhoid immunization.

Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for travelers who will have intimate contact with local residents or potentially need blood transfusions or injections while abroad, especially if visiting for more than six months. It is also recommended for all health care personnel. Most travelers do not need hepatitis B vaccine."

I've never heard of anyone contracting either in all my years here, nor of anyone becoming ill from drinking the water.