Layperson's Advice on Some Wellness Topics

Old Jul 5th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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Layperson's Advice on Some Wellness Topics

Since we will be having a return visit to our friendly international travel clinic next week prior to our Sept. return to East Africa,a thought struck me.Why don't we start a thread on some best advice for fellow travellors to Africa for some often asked questions about wellness prevention and treatment from a layperson's perspective.I will assume in advance we have all sought out professional advice re innoculations and medications from medical professionals.Since some of this has been covered on other threads,perhaps other than a word or two on the topics ,a good link to that topic would suffice.Here goes -in no particular order,and please add topics if you wish: 1.Mossie Repellants-DEET or no DEET and-Anyone ever heard of the Microcell butane-powered device? Worth taking? 2.Tstse Flies-any way to repel/protect?
3.Sun Protection-favorite sunscreens? 4.Blister Beetle/Kenya Fly treatment-is an antibiotic ointment available? Might it work for other bites if they get infected? 5.Travellor's Diarrhea-Does a preventive vaccine like Dukoral help? 6.Motion sickness-Any medication/preventive treatment for small plane travel? Thanks for any advice..Dave
toontowndoc is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2007, 09:30 PM
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Haven't been yet, so not speaking from experience, but...

My mother is going with and very, VERY prone to car sickness. Her doc is going to prescribe a patch to put behind her ear(s). She's not used them before, but has talked to a couple people with motion sickness issues and they swear by them, apparently.
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Old Jul 5th, 2007, 09:48 PM
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I love MD Skincare's sunscreen pads. They kind of remind me of those old stridex acne pads. No goopy, messy cream , and they don't make you sticky, which is great when in a dusty environment. I also have very sensitive skin, and these don't bother me at all.

For my face, I always use a titanium dioxide sunscreen like Ti-Silc or Clarins for children. Mineral suncreens don't run into your eyes when you sweat and sting like chemical sunscreens.
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Old Jul 7th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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I haven't been to Africa yet so would welcome this kind of thread. Regarding the patch for motion sickness.I get sick in a rocking chair. So far the patch has prevented motion sickness in boats etc. The small plane will be the final test. next Feb.
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Old Jul 7th, 2007, 06:06 PM
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Here's some experiences from our group of 10 just back from Tanzania...

Motion sickness was an issue for some and the scop patch was used by several people. Be aware, though, that it can cause a temporary change in your vision.

More than one person had adverse reactions to Malarone... nausea and dizziness. This really made them miserable for much of the trip. I would strongly suggest that anyone planning to take a malaria prophylactic that you've not taken before, try taking a week or two of "test doses" and see if you have any adverse reactions.

Use DEET, although you don't need more than about a 35% formula. DEET will discourage Tsetses for a short while, but won't keep them away forever. Sawyer makes an mosquito repellent that also has a fly repellent in it. That might be effective.

Some of our folks got lots of bites from one source or another and I found that "After Bite" was helpful in alleviating the itching. Calamine lotion might help, as well.

Cipro or some other type of antibiotic for traveler's diarrhea should be taken along, just in case. One or two doses will usually stop it in its tracks.

Take the usual meds for colds, headaches, etc. as you won't find a drug store out in the bush. We put together a small medical kit, starting with one we bought at REI, then added things.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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After-Bite (mainly ammonia, I think)doesn't work that well for me; almost nothig does-- mossies find me, eat me, I often swell up and am almost always miserable -- and this is in New England! I know, I know, nothing like Africa in January, where I'll be using DEET, spraying my clothes, erc. and following all the good Fodorite advice.. MY BuzzOFF cap (with pull-down neck-guard) is great. Also -- and I swear by this: "99% ALOE VERA GELLY" by Lily of the Desert ($3.49 at my local Shaw's Supermarket) -- replicates something I found years ago in Guadaloupe? Virgin Islands? (in my misspent youth) for sunburn.If bites keep me up at night, one benadryl and a glass of wine do the trick.
Jess215 is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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Thank you to those who have provided advice.Anyone else have some ideas on these topics?
toontowndoc is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2007, 12:22 AM
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Some health information for those travelling to Africa can be found on, as provided by U.S Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Articles include: Malaria, Vaccinations, Other diseases, Insect bite, Drinking water safety and so on. The info can be found here:

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