Your Tropical Vacation Has a Food and Water Faux Pas in the Itinerary - Do You Know How To Protect Yourself?

    - 98 per cent of travellers make a food or water faux pas within their
    first 72 hours of vacation -

    TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - The checklist for your next tropical vacation
probably includes sunscreen, bathing suits and sandals - but what about
protecting yourself against travel health faux pas'? Many travellers commit a
food and water faux pas while on vacation outside of Canada,(1) such as
consuming uncooked shellfish, drinking tap water or using contaminated ice
cubes - putting themselves at risk of contracting Travellers' Diarrhea,
Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever.
    With Canada's economic uncertainty, travellers want the most "bang" for
their "buck", and no one wants to commit a faux pas that can potentially ruin
a vacation, or worse, result in serious illness. Unfortunately, mistakes are
hard to avoid. According to a survey of 567 Canadians, more than half (58 per
cent) of the respondents who travel outside the country experienced
Travellers' Diarrhea,(2) with almost all (89 per cent) indicating that the
condition affected the quality of their vacation.(2)
    "Food- and water-borne illnesses such as Travellers' Diarrhea, Hepatitis
A and Typhoid Fever are serious health threats that pose risks in popular
travel destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean," said Dr. Dominique
Tessier, medical director, Medisys Travel Clinics. "Regardless of where you're
travelling or how much time you have, you should always speak to a travel
health expert or your doctor about available travel vaccinations that can be
taken right up until the time you depart."
    The Caribbean (36 per cent) and Mexico (31 per cent) are the top two
travel destinations for Canadians,(2) and more Canadians are planning on
travelling to these destinations this winter to take advantage of low-cost,
all-inclusive vacations.(3) Often these trips are arranged last minute,(4)
without proper travel health consultation.
    Only one-third (32 per cent) of Canadians received a vaccination of any
kind before travelling outside of Canada and more than half of travellers did
not consult with a doctor before going on vacation.(2)
    "Vaccination should be a priority for anyone travelling to Mexico, the
Caribbean or other developing countries," said Dr. Brian Aw, travel health
expert. "Vaccinations such as DUKORAL for protection against Travellers'
Diarrhea and ViVAXIM for protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever are
ideal for all travellers heading to tropical destinations - even last-minute
planners, as these vaccinations don't have to be taken months in advance."
    You may have escaped Old Man Winter's chilly grasp, but don't let food-
and water-borne illnesses take hold of your vacation by committing a travel
health faux pas. Remember, it's hard to avoid committing a travel health
mistake, so it's important to get vaccinated before travelling outside of
Canada. Here are some measures you can take to avoid a food and water faux pas
while on vacation in Mexico or the Caribbean:

                   Do:                                  Don't:
    -   Drink commercially bottled      -   Drink tap water or use ice cubes
        water, soft drinks, bottled     -   Eat fruits that don't need
        fruit juice, alcoholic              peeling
        beverages without ice and hot   -   Eat uncooked vegetables or salads
        beverages                       -   Eat raw or undercooked meat,
    -   Drink pasteurized, properly         fish or shellfish
        refrigerated milk and dairy     -   Eat or drink unpasteurized or
        products                            unrefrigerated dairy products
    -   Eat fruits and vegetables that  -   Eat foods sold by street vendors
        are freshly peeled or cooked
    -   Eat foods that are recently
        cooked and served piping hot


    Travellers' Diarrhea is a common illness in developing regions such as
Mexico and the Caribbean.(5) Travellers' Diarrhea is most commonly caused by
food contaminated with enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and contaminated
    Other food- and water-borne illnesses, such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid
Fever, are most commonly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, either
through ingestion of contaminated food and water or directly through
interpersonal contact.(7) Both illnesses are common in developing regions,
such as Mexico and many Caribbean destinations.(7) In fact, in a recent study,
travellers to Mexico accounted for 12 per cent of all travel-related cases of
Typhoid Fever.(8)

    COMMON VACCINATIONS - For discussion with a travel health expert or a

    DUKORAL(R) is the only vaccine indicated for the prevention of
Travellers' Diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC).(6) ViVAXIM(R)
is the only 2 in 1 vaccine in Canada that provides protection against both
Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever.(9) One dose taken before travel(*) makes ViVAXIM
ideal for the last minute traveller.(9)

    (*) For optimum protection, ViVAXIM should be given at least two weeks
        before travel

    About sanofi-aventis

    Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers,
develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of
everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York
(NYSE:   SNY).

    About Sanofi Pasteur

    Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group provided
more than a billion doses of vaccine in 2006, making it possible to immunize
more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine
industry, sanofi pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting
against 20 infectious diseases. The Company's heritage, to create vaccines
that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the
largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests
more than EUR1 million in research and development. For more information,
please visit:, or


    (1) Kozicki, M., Steffen, R. & Schar, M. Boil it, Cook it, Peel it or
        Forget it:  Does this Rule Prevent Travellers' Diarrhea?
        International Journal of Epidemiology.  Vol. 14, No. 1.
    (2) Rapid Insight DUKORAL(R) DTC Tracking Research Amongst Consumers.
    (3), accessed
        17 December 2008.
    (4) Hamer, D.H. & Bradley, C.A.  Travel Health Knowledge, Attitudes and
        Practices among United States Travelers.  Journal of Travel Medicine
        2004. Vol. 11, Num. 1:  23-26.
    (5) Yates, J. Traveler's Diarrhea.  American Family Physician.
        1 June 2001:
    (6) DUKORAL(R) Product Monograph, sanofi pasteur, November 2007.
    (7) Luxemburger, C. & Dutta A.K. Overlapping Epidemiologies of
        Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever:  the Needs of the Traveler. Journal of
        Travel Medicine. Vol. 12 Issue s1 (9 S12-S21);
    (8) Steinberg et al. Typhoid Fever in Travelers:  Who Should Be Targeted
        for Prevention? CID, July 2004: 186-191.
    (9) ViVAXIM(R) Product Monograph, sanofi pasteur, 2005.

For further information:

For further information: Collin Matanowitsch, MS&L, (416) 847-1330,; Elpi Klapas, MS&L, (514) 842-1077,

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