2018 Winter Olympic Vaccine Checklist

Brazil 2016 Summer Olympians contracted mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile, chikungunya, and dengue fever

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul is just around the corner with millions of people from around the world expected to attend.

During February and March of 2018, the Winter Olympics and Paralympic games are being held in South Korea.

The host city is Pyeongchang, which is a small city of 43,000 people, located in the Taebaek Mountain area of the country, which is just east of Seoul.

If you are lucky enough to be attending one of the 102 separate events, either as an athlete or a spectator, it’s not too late to start thinking about staying healthy while away.

At large-scale events like the Olympic Games, the risks of an infectious disease outbreak are expected to be higher.

The 2018 Winter Olympics hope to avoid the health risk that caught the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio unprotected.

32 of the 457 Summer Olympians in Brazil contracted mosquito-borne viruses.

Blood samples verified 27 Olympians acquired the West Nile virus, 3 acquired chikungunya and 2 contracted dengue fever.

The key takeaway of this study is the average international traveler should be appropriately vaccinated.

“Everyone was concentrating on the Zika virus and ignoring that there could be other infections caused by mosquito bites,” said Dr. Krow Ampofo, an infectious disease expert.

Those traveling to this north Asian winter destination should brush up on some immunization tips to be protected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccines for South Korea and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Since time is running out, the CDC suggests scheduling an appointment with a travel medicine pharmacy or your healthcare provider before you depart:

CDC also recommends all travelers be up to date on routine vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and influenza. A small percent of travelers might consider japanese encephalitis and rabies as well.  See CDC link.

Vaccine prices can be viewed at the CDC Price List and discounts can be found here.

Moreover, the CDC suggests using the Healthy Travel Packing List for South Korea for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip.